A multiple vehicle collision west of Oyen has claimed three lives, according to a statement issued by the Alberta RCMP on Wednesday morning. In addition, two people were critically injured and transported via air ambulance to area hospitals and eight other people sustained injured and were either treated on scene or transported to local hospitals.
The collision, involving 10 vehicles, including seven passenger vehicles and three semi trucks occurred on Highway 9 and Range Road 72 at approximately 3:30 pm on Tuesday, Aug. 20. One of the semis was hauling fuel, which ignited and caused several vehicles to catch fire. A second semi was hauling butane.
The hamlet of Chinook was evacuated for several hours due to the heavy smoke in the area.
Hazmat crews were expected at the scene on Wednesday to assist with the clean-up.
Highway 9 at Range Road 72 remained closed on Wednesday morning as the collision scene continued to be cleared, including the recovery of dangerous goods contained in one of the semi trucks. The road blockage was expected to last until approximately 12 noon.
Several RCMP detachments were involved with managing the incident, including Coronation, Redcliff, and Hanna.
Support for people involved in the crash was received from Victim Services, including the use of the Oyen Legion.
The investigation into this collision remains a lengthy process given the nature of the crash scene. It is anticipated that it will take several weeks for the collision analyst to complete the investigation. If there is an update to be provided at that time, the RCMP will provide an update.