A truck carrying 50,000 litres of diesel fuel exploded after it hit another truck on Highway 40. Within minutes, the truck caught fire and the driver died in the ensuing fire. Four other vehicles were also destroyed in the explosion.
Another man tried to rescue the truck driver, Gilbert Prince, but flames engulfed the vehicle quickly and the rescue had to be abandoned. The vehicle had stopped on the highway just before the explosion.
Investigators are trying to discover why the vehicle was stopped. Police cordoned off the area quickly.
There were several explosions that happened that were followed by reverberations. The fire department later evacuated all nearby buildings. Within a few minutes, the entire area was surrounded by smoke.
Crews worked throughout the night to clear the highway from debris. Inspectors and engineers surveyed the area for potential damage. More tests need to be done to ensure the safety of the highway. Engineers could do more tests only after removing the charred wreckage.
Bruno Massicotte, an expert in structural engineering, commented that it would take a couple of days for a complete evaluation. He is worried that prolonged fire could damage the structures that support the highway. More shuttle buses and parking lots were allotted to smooth the effects of this explosion on Montreal’s transport system.
Currently there are no restrictions on hazardous trucks driving on commuter highways. Most of these highways go through populated areas. Authorities requested the public not jump to conclusions before the investigations are conducted thoroughly. The Minister for Public Security congratulated the government agencies for their coordinated efforts both at the municipal and state level.