UPDATE: Coquihalla re-opens

Truck carrying potentially hazardous chemicals crashes Monday

UPDATE: 7:50 a.m.

The portion of the Coquihalla closed due to a hazardous material spill is back open, although there will be some delays for those using the route.

DriveBC is reporting that the southbound lane opened at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, with a right lane closure and 10 minute delays in effect until further notice.

UPDATE: 5:50 a.m.

The southbound lane of the Coquihalla is still closed 25 km south of Merritt while crews work to clean-up the fallout from semi-truck carrying goods catching fire.

DriveBC reports that it’s expected to open again at 8 a.m., but in the meantime recommends drivers take an alternate route.

For more on this story read the updates below.

UPDATE: 5:30 p.m.

The Coquihalla will remain closed for the rest of the day after a truck carrying dangerous goods ignited early Monday morning.

DriveBC reports the highway between Merritt and Hope will be closed until at least midnight. The next update from DriveBC is expected at 11 p.m.

VSA Highway Maintenance reports the hazmat assessment is complete and crews are working on cleanup now.

Interior Health issued an air quality advisory for the area in and around Kingsvale following the truck fire on Highway 5. More details can be found on the advisory below.

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UPDATE: Noon

Interior Health has issued an air quality advisory for the area in and around Kingsvale, approximately 25 kilometres south of Merritt, following notification from Ministry of Environment that a semi truck carrying potentially hazardous chemicals caught fire on Highway 5 near the Coldwater Road Exchange earlier this morning. The advisory is due to potential health impacts created by smoke coming from this fire.

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has established traffic control and cleared the immediate area.

However, individuals in the area who smell or taste anything unusual in the air are advised to seek shelter indoors, close windows and doors, and turn off any air intakes (air conditioning, etc.). If you continue to smell anything unusual indoors, you are advised to leave the immediate area and seek cleaner air.

The most likely symptoms would be mild to moderate irritation of the nose, throat, respiratory tract or eyes. Residents who experience more severe respiratory symptoms, headache, nausea or dizziness should seek medical assistance.

At this time, there is no indication that local water is impacted by this fire.

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Original story:

The Coquihalla highway is closed in both directions after a truck fire early Monday morning.

A semi-truck carrying dangerous goods reportedly caught fire south of Merritt at about 4 a.m.

DriveBC reports there is no estimated time of re-opening as an assessment is still in process.

Highway crews were brought in to remove the median and allow trapped traffic to get through.


 

@carmenweld
carmen.weld@bpdigital.ca

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