01/16/2014 01:24 EST | Updated 03/18/2014 05:59 EDT

Tanker truck fire melted layers of Nova Scotia highway: transportation minister

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's transportation minister says initial reports indicate a tanker truck that caught fire and forced the closure of part of a major highway for more than four hours broke an axle.

Geoff MacLellan says officials from his department will be looking to see whether the truck involved in Wednesday's accident on Highway 102 near Truro was in compliance with safety standards.

MacLellan says the heat from the fire was so intense that it melted several layers of the roadway, leaving the northbound section of the highway down to one lane.

He says the priority is to get the road repaired but he can't estimate when that will be done.

Environment Minister Randy Delorey says a small amount of the fuel that leaked near the truck has been contained while the bulk of what it was carrying — some 16,000 litres — was burned off in the fire.