BOSTON (CBS) – A garbage truck fire shut down part of Interstate 93 in Boston for hours Thursday afternoon, backing up midday traffic for miles.

A garbage truck on fire in the O'Neill Tunnel. (Photo credit - Ken Lewis)

A garbage truck on fire in the O’Neill Tunnel. (Photo credit – Ken Lewis)

The truck caught fire inside the O’Neill Tunnel near Exit 20 around 1:20 p.m. and took hours to extinguish.

(MassDOT)

(MassDOT)

State Police diverted all traffic off at Exit 26. A MassDOT traffic camera captured the backup on I-93 around 2 p.m. Thursday.

State Police told commuters to avoid the area Thursday afternoon.

“It’s a difficult fire to fight,” said District Chief James Greene. “Not only is it confined in the trash container, but we’re in the tunnel so it takes a little while to get the water down into the tunnel with the standpipe system.”

A garbage truck caught on fire in the O'Neill Tunnel in Boston (WBZ-TV)

A garbage truck  caught fire in the O’Neill Tunnel in Boston (WBZ-TV)

There’s no word yet what caused the fire or if anyone was hurt.

The truck was towed away shortly after 3 p.m. and two lanes were reopened to traffic.

Garbage truck fire (Image from Boston Fire)

Garbage truck fire (Image from Boston Fire)

More than four hours later, the fire was still smoldering in the back of the truck.

Crews used excavators to pull the trash out of the truck to fight the fire.

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