A fiery crash shut down Interstate 4 both ways in the vicinity of Florida Polytechnic University for several hours early this morning and sent two people to the hospital, one with serious injuries, according to breaking news reports.

The accident, which involved a semi truck and at least one other vehicle, occurred around 3:35 a.m. in the westbound lanes near mile marker 41, which is near the Polk Parkway.

Eastbound lanes, which had been closed at the Polk Parkway, reopened around 7:15 a.m., and westbound lanes started reopening just after noon.

The semi overturned and spilled diesel fuel, catching on fire, spewing smoke, and spilling diesel fuel, authorities said.

Closures and traffic backups at 7:10 a.m., via Google Maps

ABC Action News reported that it was taking drivers 2 1/2 hours to get from U.S. 27 to the Polk Parkway. Polk Fire Rescue is cleaning the diesel spill, the station reported.

The cause of the accident has not been released.

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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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