SAN FRANCISCO—On Friday, May 22, at around 6:20 a.m. a minivan reportedly crashed on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridge, before it exploded into flames. The crash brought traffic on the bridge to a near standstill as firefighters tried to put out the flames, and emergency responders arrived on scene. About 15 minutes after the incident occurred, the San Francisco Fire Department posted an alert on Twitter that read:
“CAR FIRE ON BAY BRIDGE WESTERN SPAN FULLY ENGULFED VEHICLE FIRE LANES #4/5 BLOCKED 06:34 Hrs.”
The crash was reported near Treasure Island on the western span. The three right-most lanes on the upper-deck of the bridge were blocked. The bridge was shut down for almost 50 minutes before the crash was cleared and lanes were reopened by 7:00 a.m. The traffic jam had a lingering effect for many commuters heading into the city, as traffic was backed all the way up to Emeryville.
At 6:44 a.m. the SFFD issued another update that stated: “FIRE UNDER CONTROL ALL PASSENGERS SAFE.”
The San Francisco Fire Department reported that there were no injuries during the incident, and the California Highway Patrol advised drivers heading towards the city to plan for delays, or use alternate routes. The exact cause of the crash remains unknown.
The fire caused one of the first major traffic jams seen in San Francisco since the pandemic started.