Blizzard paralyzes eastern Canada, leaves 6 dead on roads

Blizzard paralyzes eastern Canada, leaves 6 dead on roads

At least six people have been killed after a powerful blizzard moving north from the United States paralyzed eastern Canada on March 14 and 15, 2017.

Environment Canada's weather office said up to 70 cm (28 inches) of snow fell on parts of Ontario, Quebec and the coastal Maritimes region. The storm brought winds of 100 to 140 km/h (60 - 90 miles), which left more than 300 vehicles stranded for almost 12 hours in Montreal, AFP reported.

Two men were found frozen to death in their snow-covered car near Quebec City. Officials said one of them called emergency services for help late Tuesday but they were unable to reach them in time.

A 30-vehicle collision happened on Highway 401, near Kingston, between Toronto and Montreal, at about 14:00 local time on March 14 where a driver of an overturned truck carrying hydrofluoric acid died. Several others were treated for exposure to the toxic spill, officials said. Police described conditions on the highway as "near whiteout" when the crash occurred.

In a statement Tuesday evening, the Kingston hospital said it received 34 patients from the crash scene, including 18 first responders who underwent decontamination and were held for observation as a precaution. All of the patients have already been released. 

Two people were killed in other collisions on Highway 401 and one man died after being struck by a snow plow.

At the height of the storm, more nearly 70 000 homes lost power.

Featured image credit: XBRTraffic (via Twitter)

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