Hwy. 401 truck fire sends flames, black smoke into the sky

Hwy. 401 truck fire sends flames, black smoke into the sky
A tractor-trailer lies in ruin following a fire on Highway 401 in Cornwall Thursday.

CORNWALL, Ontario – A spectacular fire on Highway 401 that consumed a tractor-trailer created a traffic nightmare in north end Cornwall Thursday.

The fire, which occured at around 5:15 p.m., sent thick, black smoke billowing into the sky above Cornwall.

At the scene massive flames shot from the transport. Cornwall firefighters had to head out onto Highway 401 to douse the fire.

Witnesses at the scene told Seaway News it appeared as though the transport had entered the ditch.

Eastbound traffic on the highway was rerouted in the oppostice direction at the McConnell Avenue on-ramp in order to clear the busy thoroughfare of vehicles.

In the meantime a traffic nightmare was created on McConnell Avenue at the on-ramp as rubber-neckers and commuters tried to navigate the area.

The driver of the tractor-trailer sustained minor injuries but was not hospitalized.

People lined both sides of the 401, as well as a dead-end stretch of road on the south side of the highway, trying to get a glimpse of the fire.

Police closed access to the eastbound lanes, though westbound lanes were open for a time before being shuttered as well.

It’s unknown what caused the fire. The tractor-trailer was not transporting hazardous material.

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