Styrene spill causes highway closure
Highway 10 east was closed between exits 78 and 90 for a large part of the day on Tuesday after an SUV ran into the back of a transport track carrying highly flammable styrene. The closure came into effect at 9:40 a.m. when it was determined that a security perimeter was necessary around the 8 a.m. accident. Due to the nature of the cleanup process, the westbound lanes were also intermittently closed throughout the day.
According to The Sûreté du Québec, the driver of the SUV sustained only minor injuries as a result of the impact, but the highway had to be closed for an indeterminate amount of time to allow for cleanup of the hazardous liquid.
Traffic was rerouted by Transports Quebec and drivers were strongly encouraged to avoid the area in order to reduce congestion. The road had yet to reopen as of press time, although a representative of Transports Quebec said that local MTQ and Environment Ministry response teams were active on site.
Daniel Messier of the environment ministry explained that the styrene spill itself was quite small and is unlikely to have a serious impact on the local environment. He explained that the cleanup work was long because of the fact that this type of spill, in which the tank of the transport truck is punctured, requires the entire content be transferred to a new vehicle. With a material as dangerous as styrene, and working as they are on the side of the highway, the government representative said that it is important that clean-up crews take their time.
“They are working slowly to make sure that it is done right,” Messier said.