A transport driver named Ian Melville, 45 years old from Hamilton is dead following a multiple collisions in Highway 401. These collisions involved 30 vehicles, and many of them are tractors-trailers. Five fire fighters and first responders tried to rescue the injured driver and immediately provided first aid and CPR but never made it. He died instantly.
Dangers on the road
According to the Ontario Provincial Police, Highway 401 has been reopened in both directions east of Kingston, Ontario after multiple pileups of vehicles that left a transport truck driver dead. The collisions caused a toxic leakage and the area should be immediately evacuated. The toxic substance was identified as fluorosilicic acid which is used for preserving foods. Exposure to the chemical can result to throat and nose irritation, redness and swelling of the skin and severe irritation of the eye.
In the first collision five tractor-trailers and car collided east of highway 137 and about a kilometer east of that collision, another seven tractor-trailers collided with three vehicles and these resulted in multiple chain reactions involving other vehicles. And the third collision involves three tractor-trailers.
Several first responders and firemen who tried to rescue the driver and provided first aid were exposed to the chemical and needs to be decontaminated.
According to Kingston General Hospital, they received 34 patients from the incident which also includes the firemen, and the 17 first responders were treated for their injuries and decontaminated and remained in the hospital for observation as a precaution. Furthermore the hospital declared a code orange which is used in incidents of an external disaster that result in a flow of casualties that needs immediate help in the hospital or in the emergency department.
According to the officials of The Township of Leeds and The Thousand Islands, stated in news that the area where the collision happened have been contained. All vehicles passing the area have been rerouted and persons with potential exposure to chemicals were given medical attention. Furthermore they stated that no properties were affected and there is no more danger to the general public.
The area where the collisions happened can be described as “near whiteout”, according to witnesses.
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