Clean-up begins after truck fire closes Coquihalla Highway on Victoria Day

Traffic is moving again on the Coquihalla Highway south of Merritt after a truck fire on the long weekend. Pictured is the view at Comstock Road about 15 kim south of Merritt looking north from a Drive B.C. webcam.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Drive B.C.

MERRITT - Traffic is now moving again northbound on a major British Columbia highway after a truck fire raised concerns about contamination from potentially dangerous chemicals released during the smoky blaze.

Officials partially reopened the Coquihalla Highway 25 kilometres south of Merritt just after 5 a.m., nearly 24 hours after the route was shutdown when the transport truck burst into flames early Monday.

But southbound traffic remains halted as a hazardous materials team clears away the remnants of the charred truck, although several alternate routes are available.

The DriveBC website says crews hope to have the highway completely reopened within hours.

The Ministry of Transportation has not yet said what dangerous goods the truck was carrying but Interior Health issued a warning that smoke from the fire could create health problems.

It advised anyone who smelled or tasted anything unusual in the air to immediately go inside, close windows and doors and turn off any air conditioning.

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