Frustrated drivers trapped for hours after Hwy. 400 shut down for chemical spill
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Thursday, July 20, 2017 1:55PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 21, 2017 6:15AM EDT
Trapped motorists are expressing frustration after being stuck on Hwy. 400 for hours because of a chemical spill.
The crash that led to the spill happened at around 1:30 p.m. and the highway didn't reopen for another 11 hours. Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said a tractor-trailer carrying dangerous goods was involved in a collision north of Canal Road and the resulting spill is taking much longer than expected to clean up.
“My 15-month-old child has been stuck on that highway for over 5 hours without food or water,” one frustrated mother tweeted.
“My wife has pulled over and waiting it out. Been stuck for over 5 hours as well. It’s ridiculous,” another person wrote.
The southbound lanes of the highway are closed between Highway 89 and Highway 9, near Newmarket, Ontario. The northbound lanes are closed between Highway 88 and Highway 9.
The truck, Schmidt said, spilled a dangerous and flammable cleaning solution out onto the roadway, complicating the cleanup.
While many motorists took to social media to express frustration, one woman told CP24 by phone from her car that residents from the surrounding area came out of their homes to help however they could.
“It’s been a long go, but it’s been unbelievable the people who have been coming up handing out granola bars, rice crispy squares, bottles of water,” said Judy Arksey, who had been stuck on the road for more than six hours. “One lady left her home and parked her car and walked down with all these goods for people.
“There were people handing out diapers in case there were babies. It was phenomenal. It just makes it all kind of in a different light.”
Arksey said she left Barrie at around 5 p.m. to head to Niagara Fall to celebrate her birthday. By 11 p.m. she had only moved about 31 kilometres.
OPP are advising motorists to stay away from Highway 400 north of Toronto due to the closure affecting long stretch of the road.
No injuries have been reported in the crash. However OPP are advising anyone who may be stuck in their car needing assistance on the highway to call *OPP.