Woman airlifted after QEW accident 0
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – A truck driver was airlifted to hospital following a chain-reaction crash on the Queen Elizabeth Way near Niagara Falls, Ont., Wednesday morning.
The crash marked one of several collisions that occurred along the highway following the horrific crash near Lundy's Lane where a dump truck's elevated box hit the overpass.
The most serious collision, involving a food-transport truck and a second transport truck that was loaded with metal shavings and metal dust residue, sparked environmental concerns.
Witnesses reported seeing a huge cloud of dust after the two trucks collided around 11:45 a.m.
When the dust settled, both trucks and the highway was were coated in a thick, brown material.
Emergency crews wore masks as they treated people at the scene because the nature of the metal products was initially unknown.
"It was potentially hazardous material, but it turned out the product is not regulated as hazardous in Canada," said Phil Ross, deputy chief of the Niagara Falls Fire Department.
Firefighters and and emergency workers decontaminated a number of people who were covered in thick dust.
"We took all the necessary precautions to make sure both responders and bystanders and patients were protected," said Kevin Smith, deputy chief of Niagara EMS.
A number of Ontario Provincial Police officers were subsequently taken to hospital to be decontaminated.
One truck driver sustained serious, but non-life threatening, injuries in the crash.
An air ambulance was called in and all lanes of the QEW were closed to allow the helicopter to land on the roadway.
A second patient was transported to the Greater Niagara General Hospital.
The OPP is investigating the crash.
"We are not looking at any life-threatening injuries," said Staff Sgt. Jan Idzenga. "I'm amazed that they're not."