Acid-filled tankers hung up on Alice highway

Trucks bringing hazardous chemicals to and from the mill run into difficulty with the gradient.

HIGHWAY 30—A pair of tanker trucks loaded with sulphuric acid spent much of last Tuesday hung up on 21-Mile Hill before being helped on their way to the Neucel Specialty Cellulose plant in Port Alice.

The incident began the morning of Jan. 15, when a truck hauling a tanker with 97,000 pounds of acid got stuck on the climb up from the Marble River, partially blocking traffic. A second tanker truck, which apparently attempted to assist the stricken vehicle, then became stuck on the hill, unable to get in motion up the 13-degree grade.

With no tow trucks on the North Island large enough to haul a 97,000-pound load up the steep grade, Excel Towing of Parksville was contacted and dispatched a 1978 Kenworth industrial two truck while RCMP and traffic control services secured the highway.