Stretch of Ont. highway remains closed following fatal pileup, chemical spill

17 March, 2017, 01:21 | Author: Celia Hoffman
  • Here's what you need to know about the Highway 401 detour

The secondary collision occurred about one kilometre west of the first and involved seven tractor trailers and three vehicles.

Quinn said the hospital had declared a "code orange", meaning non-critical patients were being re-routed to Hotel Dieu Hospital in Kingston. The driver of the tractor-trailer carrying the hazardous substance died. Several first responders were exposed and needed to be decontaminated.

Police say one of the transport trucks is leaking an unidentified "toxic substance", prompting them to evacuate the area as a precaution.

"The five firefighters, for sure, were involved in trying to rescue this driver who was in his transport, and the three police officers as well", she said.

On Tuesday, five tractor trailers and a auto were involved in a chain reaction crash killing a truck driver and causing the spill of a risky chemical. Numerous vehicles involved still haven't been removed from the scene.

In a statement Wednesday, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change said its staff are coordinating with other agencies and the trucking company "to assess the containment of the spilled materials and any environmental impacts as a result of the collision".

The substance was identified as fluorosilicic acid.

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Kingston hospital received 29 patients from the crash scene, including 13 first responders who underwent decontamination and were held for observation as a precaution.

There was no immediate word on the number of people injured in that crash at about 3:30 p.m. on Highway 10 in the Magog area.

Some people were treated at a decontamination bay after being exposed to the hazardous material, which is commonly used in water fluoridation, and can cause irritation to the nose, throat and respiratory system, swelling of the skin and severe eye irritation. Some were discharged Tuesday and it's not clear whether any of those transported remain in hospital.

No residential properties were affected and there was no risk to the general public, she added.

The 401 has been shutdown in both directions between Mallorytown and Lansdowne after a major pileup involving multiple transport trucks.

"Hydrofluoric acid is a highly toxic, highly corrosive and poisonous solution which is harmful to skin, lungs and eyes", Gananoque Police said in their post.

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