Driver injured in three truck pile-up on the N3

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The driver of a truck carrying chlorine gas had to released from his cab after three trucks were involved in a collision on the N3, near Cedara.
The driver of a truck carrying chlorine gas had to released from his cab after three trucks were involved in a collision on the N3, near Cedara.
Midlands EMS

The driver of a truck was seriously injured after three heavy vehicles collided near the Cedara bridge on Tuesday afternoon.

According to Zinhle Mngomezulu, spokesperson for the Road Traffic Inspectorate (RTI), the smallest of the trucks, which was transporting tanks of chlorine gas, was caught between two other vehicles, trapping the driver.

It's believed that he had stopped behind another truck, which had pulled onto the side of the freeway. As he was about to get out his cab a third truck drove into the back of his vehicle.

Midlands EMS managing director, Mark Winterboer, said a team from Howick Fire and Rescue helped free the driver using the jaws of life.

He was then stabilised at the scene by paramedics from Midlands EMS, before being taken to Life Hilton Hospital to be treated for a broken leg and to undergo x-rays and scans to establish if he has any other injuries.

The driver of the third truck sustained cuts and bruises.

Winterboer said that when he and his team arrived at the accident scene, they realised that one of the trucks posed a potential health hazard.

With the help of the RTI, traffic was pushed back as far as possible to prevent other motorists and nearby residents from breathing in any chlorine gas.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information in the United Kingdom, chlorine gas is poisonous and because it is a pulmonary irritant can cause acute damage to the upper and lower respiratory tract. 

Traffic on the southbound carriageway of the N3 was diverted onto the off-ramp, allowing cars and bakkies to use the old road through Hilton. Heavy vehicles were stacked on the freeway.

Recovery is ongoing and traffic remains conjested on the southbound carriageway.

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