Tractor-trailer carrying 40,000 pounds of chicken catches fire on I-285 under airport runway

A tractor-trailer caught fire in the tunnel under an Atlanta airport runway, closing eastbound lanes of I-285 and burning the 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken it was hauling.

Just another normal Tuesday morning in Atlanta, right?

RELATED: Weird things that have snarled Atlanta traffic

The blaze led to smoky conditions and severe traffic delays on the eastbound lanes of I-285 past Riverdale Road just as the morning rush got underway, according to the WSB 24-hour Traffic Center.

No one was injured in the fire, which happened in the tunnel that goes under Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport’s fifth runway. Channel 2 Action News reported that the big rig driver saw the flames, pulled over and got out safely.


The Traffic Center first reported the blaze at 4:30 a.m.

After the fire was put out, the truck appeared to be partly separated with the 40,000 pounds of chicken visible from the road.

Crews shut down all eastbound lanes at times while they inspected the tunnel and runway, the Traffic Center reported. Lanes reopened about 6:15 a.m., but delays remained.


Officials have not released a suspected cause for the fire.

Airport officials said they had not heard of the fire affecting any flights.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.