Winter storm paralyses eastern Canada

2017-03-15 17:13
(Seth Wenig, AP)

(Seth Wenig, AP)

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Montreal - A blizzard tracking north from the United States caused car pile-ups and school closures as heavy snows and powerful winds paralysed eastern Canada on Wednesday.

Up to 60cm of snow fell on parts of Ontario, Quebec and the coastal Maritimes region, according to Environment Canada's weather office.

Weather officials measured winds of  up to 140km/h, which led to snow drifts that stranded more than 300 vehicles for almost 12 hours in Montreal and caused numerous vehicle pile-ups.

Officials said nearly 70 000 households lost power. Snow-clearing equipment was overwhelmed, leaving firefighters to rescue drivers and their passengers trapped in cars.

The main highway between Toronto and Montreal, meanwhile, remained closed after a 30-vehicle collision on Tuesday.

One driver died and several others were treated for exposure to highly toxic hydrofluoric acid that spilled from an overturned truck.

The scene at area airports was also chaotic as passengers tried to re-book thousands of flights cancelled the previous day.

Read more on:    canada  |  weather

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