QEW reopens, ‘shelter-in-place’ lifted after truck rollover in St. Catharines

All but one lane of the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) in St. Catharines has reopened after a transport truck carrying a toxic chemical rolled over and forced an evacuation on Tuesday.

Ontario Provincial Police said just before 3:30 p.m., a truck hauling 45 bottles of phosphine, a flammable and toxic gas, rolled onto a concrete highway barrier west of Martindale Rd.

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An immediate evacuation was initially ordered for residents within a one-kilometre radius of the crash site as a precaution in case of any leakage from the truck.

Police then changed the evacuation order to a shelter-in-place order, asking residents in roughly 3,500 households within a two-kilometre radius to keep their windows and chimneys closed and their air conditioners turned off.

A temporary shelter was set up at the Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment Centre for residents who needed somewhere to stay.

The City of St. Catharines said the shelter-in-place and evacuation orders were lifted at 12:25 a.m. Wednesday.

The QEW was closed in both directions between Ontario St. and Highway 406 for several hours. The OPP said all but one Fort Erie-bound lane had reopened to traffic by about 3:30 a.m.

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