Traffic is expected to be reduced to a single lane on Highway 3 west of Castlegar until at least Saturday afternoon as crews work to extract a crashed semi truck and clean up the zinc ore it was carrying.
The crash happened about eight kilometres west of Castlegar on Thursday evening. Castlegar RCMP Cpl. Dan Pollock said police were called about the incident at 8:21 p.m.
The highway was icy at the time and it appears the driver simply lost control. Pollock said the driver was removed from the vehicle on a backboard and taken to hospital in Trail, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and then released on Friday morning.
“He is a little banged up but otherwise OK so far,” Pollock said.
Road crews aren’t sure exactly how long the highway cleanup will take, Pollock added, but they anticipate traffic will be affected until Saturday afternoon at least.
The truck was carrying a load of zinc ore concentrate to the Teck smelter in Trail, according to Richard Deane, manager of energy and public affairs for Teck Metals, Ltd.
Members of the company’s emergency response team responded to the crash site on Thursday night, Deane added, in order to provide “technical advice and support” to the trucking company, which will be handling the vehicle extraction and zinc cleanup.
The spill doesn’t pose any immediate threat to people or property.