Police reopen Niagara-bound QEW near St. Catharines after fuel truck crash

The Niagara-bound QEW is slowly reopening west of St. Catharines after a collision left a fuel truck spilling thousands of liters of dangerous cargo into a ditch.

The highway was completely closed in both directions for more than two hours, but the Toronto-bound lanes reopened around 10:20 a.m.

Ontario Provincial Police crews are now working to reopen the Niagara-bound lanes, but Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said the highway will be completely closed again Saturday morning after Friday night’s winter storm to clean up a hazardous material spill.

“We have a lot of problems right now,” said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said. “Cleanup crews are going to access the tanker to begin pumping out the remaining fuel left here.”

He warned that “it’s going to be a tough afternoon here in the Niagara region” for anyone using the highway.

The collision occurred shortly before 8 a.m. during a busy morning.

LAST UPDATES AT 2 PM

  • Approximately 25,000 liters of fuel spilled from the truck

  • Niagara-bound QEW lanes slowing reopening at Ontario Street

  • Crews will pump out the remaining fuel from the truck before removing it from the site.

fuel truck accident

Schmidt said three vehicles were involved. One of them, apparently, was driving aggressively and intercepted a passenger vehicle, which ended up hitting a trailer truck loaded with fuel and diesel.

“Those two vehicles got tangled up and ended up falling into the ditch. The tanker truck, obviously loaded with dangerous goods, is leaking into the ditch right now,” Schmidt said.

The third vehicle fled.

The truck driver was removed from his vehicle by first responders and taken to the hospital. The extent of his injuries was not immediately clear, but he is expected to survive, the OPP said.

The driver of the passenger van managed to get out of his vehicle on his own. He was “very shaken,” but he was not seriously injured, Schmidt said.

THOUSANDS OF LITERS OF FUEL SPILLED

Footage from the scene showed evidence of a violent collision, with the truck’s wheels torn off and resting in a separate area of ​​the trailer, which was also resting in a different location than the cab.

Schmidt said first responders were facing a “dramatic scene” when they arrived, as well as “extreme explosive danger” in the area, which has now been evacuated.

“Firefighters are on scene,” Schmidt said. “Local residents have been evacuated from the area and I expect this to continue for several hours in the morning.”

He estimated that about half of the tank’s roughly 50,000 liter cargo had spilled.

“That will obviously require a massive environmental cleanup,” Schmidt said. “While they are drilling into the walls of the tanker, we will have to close the QEW for the second time both eastbound and westbound here.”

fuel truck accident

Images from the scene showed firefighters and other emergency workers at the scene, as well as the two vehicles in the ditch.


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