UPDATE: Officials say Highway 3 to be closed until 4 p.m. to recover fuel truck

Highway shut down again to allow removal of fuel truck

DriveBC now says Highway 3 will be closed at the Kootenay Pass until 4 p.m. this afternoon.

The highway was re-opened for single-lane traffic on Thursday night— at least for a while— after being closed for more than a day when a fuel tanker missed a curve and crashed into the Salmo River on Wednesday night.

The incident closed the highway between Tailings Rd and Lower Wynndel Rd for 65.0 km (14 km east of Salmo to 1 km west of Creston).

The crash killed the driver, an Alberta man, and spilled what RCMP are calling a “significant” amount of fuel into the Salmo River.

The tanker was carrying diesel and gasoline. A statement from the environment ministry said the amount of fuel in the river is currently unknown.

DriveBC says the road was open for single-lane traffic for several hours early Thursday morning.

However the road will be closed again between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m Friday to allow recovery crews to pull the truck from the river. Earlier Friday the website indicated the highway would re-open around 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, anyone trying to take the only alternate route around the closure may face hours of delay.

Drive BC has issued a travel advisory for the Kootenay Bay ferry. Drivers of cars face a two-crossing wait; drivers of commercial trucks may have to wait up to 12 hours to get across Kootenay Lake. Weight restrictions are in place due to low water. No dangerous cargo can be transported. The MV Balfour is operating in shuttle mode to accommodate high traffic volumes.

The ferry operated throughout the night to try to reduce the backlog of traffic.

DriveBC will update the ferry situation at 2 p.m.

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