Serious transport collision closes 401 at Prescott

( Jan 12, 2018 - Kingston, ON ) A serious collision between multiple tractor trailers closed down the 401 in both directions near Prescott shortly before 7p.m. on Friday night. 

The collision involved three transports, which were carrying fuel and sodium hydroxide, commonly known as lye or caustic soda.

Reports from the scene say that fuel from the tanks has been spilled, and the tractor trailer carrying the sodium hydroxide is confirmed to have suffered a leak of its cargo. A cleanup team is enroute.

The leak of sodium hydroxide is currently being described as minor in quantity, however those contents are considered dangerous in nature.

Sodium hydroxide is a highly corrosive chemical used in various industrial applications, especially in the breakdown of raw materials for the manufacture of detergents and soaps as well as in the wood pulping industry. Contact with the chemical can lead to severe burns and will cause permanent blindness if it comes in contact with the eyes. Sodium hydroxide is also highly exothermic (releases heat) when dissolved in water, possibly causing heat burns and igniting flammables. 

The 401 was closed between Johnstown (exit 721B) and Cardinal (exit 730) the entire night and well into Saturday. The eastbound lanes were reopened shortly after 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. The westbound lanes remain closed. No injuries werereported.