On May 6, a tractor-trailer carrying 30 horses burst into flames on northbound Interstate 81 in Lisle, N.Y. The horses were being shipped from Shippensburg, Pa., to a slaughterhouse in Massueville, Quebec, reported the Utica Observer-Dispatch.
More than 30 firefighters from three fire departments—Marathon, Killawog and Whitney Point—attempted to stop the flames and block the highway.
The fire was likely caused by a malfunction in the 130-gallon fuel tank in the passenger side of the truck. At some point on the drive, the tank developed a leak and sprayed diesel on the trailer tires before eventually bursting into flames. Driver Clarence Phelps pulled over when he noticed flames on the passenger side of the truck, but he was unable to extinguish them.
Chris and John Chordas, owners of John’s Body Shop, were responsible for the clean-up and said their crew worked more than seven hours overnight to remove the blackened animals from the trailer. Chordas told Syracuse.com that the scene was “like a horror movie” as all 30 horses were trapped inside the 53-foot trailer during the fire.