Truck goes up in flames, shuts down Montreal’s Metropolitan Expressway for 10 hours

Traffic on Montreal’s Metropolitan Expressway is flowing once again after a semi-truck burst into flames Thursday night, causing a lengthy shutdown.Spectacular footage from witnesses shows the cab of the 18-wheeler engulfed in flames just after 10 p.m.

The truck was reportedly carrying a load of paper and broke down in the right-hand lane, forcing the closure of a section of Highway 40 eastbound near Christophe-Colomb Avenue.The large flames and thick black plumes of smoke could be seen from miles away.The driver of the truck managed to walk away unharmed.

Despite the flames being tamed by firefighters and the wreckage towed away, the highway was closed for 10 hours, snarling the morning rush hour.With drivers forced off the highway and onto the service road, officers directed the throngs of motorists as crews conducted a cleaning operation.The Quebec Transport Ministry says the long delays are due to the strenuous safety verifications done before allowing the roadway to reopen to traffic.

“An inspection of roadways exposed to fire takes some time and serious observation,” Quebec Ministry of Transportation spokesperson Gilles Payer said.“Reopening during rush hour is a delicate operation.”

Crews managed to reopen the highway soon after 8:30 a.m.Despite the scorching blaze, no repaving will be needed, according to the transport authority.“The structure and roadway suffered little damage,” Payer said.

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