One of the trailers was carrying fluorosilicic acid, an irritant that can cause respiratory irritation, as well as irritation to eyes, nose that throat. One person was treated at Brockville General Hospital for injuries.
Melville was involved in the first westbound collision, which occurred at about 2 p.m., just east of Highway 137. A stretch of the highway was partially re-opened Wednesday evening.
Kingston General Hospital spokeswoman Meagan Quinn said that a total of 29 people were treated at the hospital after the collisions, including the one fatality.
The chain-reaction collision reportedly involved a dozen or more tractor trailers in the wind-driven blizzard conditions along the Highway 401 corridor, along with, many passenger vehicle collisions. Police have not said whether his death had anything to do with exposure to the chemical. The second collision, also in the westbound lanes and about one kilometre away, involved seven tractor trailers and three vehicles. A hazardous materials team was called in to handle the spill along with environment ministry officials. Numerous vehicles involved still haven't been removed from the scene.
Most of those who were transported to hospital Tuesday, including 13 first responders, were first sent to a decontamination area where they were hosed down. The Code Orange was declared over at 8 p.m. KGH says The influx of patients has slowed down and their emergency department returned to business as usual operations at that time.More news: Is Protalix BioTherapeutics, Inc
"You really don't necessarily know what's travelling along these highways and your railways and they're going through all of our towns and cities", said Joseph Baptista, mayor of Leeds and the Thousand Islands, where the spill happened. All vehicles have been re-routed and all persons with potential chemical exposure have been transported for medical attention.
Police said there were other crashes that then took place.
Clean-up crews had arrived on site by late afternoon to remediate the area of the chemical spill.
Highway 401 is closed in both directions around the crash site as the investigation continues.
"Hydrofluoric acid is a highly toxic, highly corrosive and poisonous solution which is harmful to skin, lungs and eyes", Gananoque Police said in their post.