An udder mess: some 70 cows let loose on Florida Turnpike after cattle hauler caught fire, officials say

Some 70 cows stopped traffic for hours – and caused a miles-long backup -- on the Florida Turnpike South in Osceola County Monday after the livestock hauler they were being transported in caught fire, according to Florida Highway Patrol.

FHP said the driver, identified as a 47-year-old man from Samson, Alabama, told officials that he noticed smoke and fire coming from the cab of his hauler and pulled over to the shoulder of the freeway, where he opened the cattle trailer, so the animals could escape.

The fire department responded to put out the fire, FHP said. No injuries were reported.

Video from FDOT showed a herd of cattle standing in the median of the freeway, as police and emergency responders corralled them and managed the scene, and stuck drivers waited for the roadway to reopen. The freeway was closed for hours as a few lingering cattle were eventually corralled. 

The roadway reopened shortly before 3 p.m.