The driver avoids disaster

News 18 January, 2018
  • Matthew Payen

    Thursday, 18 January, 2018 15:11

    Thursday, 18 January, 2018 22:43

    Look at this article

    Motorists using the tunnel Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine had to demonstrate patience, on Thursday morning, after a truck fire forced the closure of the road in the direction north, but they have escaped a disaster thanks to the good reflexes of the driver of the truck.

    Photo Agence QMI, Erik Peters

    The rush hour was overwhelming for the thousands of drivers caught in a jam on the A-25 North is stretched on 7 km.

    But it has mostly been stressful for Mihail Gilca who was driving the semi-trailer truck that caught fire to

    5: 10 a.m. at the exit of the tunnel. The man, 49-year-old had left a few minutes earlier the warehouses of his company Intermark Transport, based in The Prairie, to deliver green onions and salad at a Metro supermarket in Laval.

    Photo Matthieu Payen

    Mihail Gilca

    Arriving in the middle of the tunnel, he saw in his mirror a thick smoke coming out of one of the wheels of his trailer.

    The Moldovan origin, who has 15 years of experience in the trucking, pursued his road over a kilometre to put his vehicle on the side of the road at the exit of the tunnel.

    “I knew that I needed to sort of the tunnel, otherwise the truck would take in fire and it would have been catastrophic for the cars around,” he said a few hours after the fact.

    Fire extinguisher

    But the bravery of Mr. Gilca has not stopped there. Once his truck stopped, he grabbed a fire extinguisher and attempted to extinguish the wheel fire. Seeing that the fire kept coming back because of the intense heat, he finally won the tractor of the truck away from the blaze.

    “At the time I didn’t think it could explode, but thinking back after that, I realized the danger,” says Mr. Gilca who took his day on Thursday to recover from the emotional shock. “He did what he had to do and it has probably saved lives,” adds his boss, Arkady Potapov. Many drivers have abandoned their truck on fire. “

    Broken brake

    Mr. Potapov advance an explanation of the fire of the wheel. According to him, a tube in which circulates the brake fluid has yielded. This break has locked the brake on the wheel and the friction has heated the rim.

    Mr. Potapov said that the vehicle had been inspected before hitting the road.

    On highway 25, two of three lanes were reopened at 8: 20 a.m., the time that the rush hour ends. Then, around 10: 30 a.m., the center lane was again closed to permit the trailer burned and clean the floor. The department of Transportation found no damage on the floor.

    Taste bitter

    Photo Agence QMI, MAXIME LANDRY

    The driver of the semi-trailer stopped his vehicle on the right lane a few hundred metres after the exit of the tunnel Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine.

    The long plugs caused Thursday up on the South Shore with the closure of the tunnel to The Fountain give you a taste of what it will produce in approximately two years.

    In fact, after the Champlain bridge and the Turcot interchange, the tunnel will be the next big infrastructure montreal to make a new skin.

    The renovation works of the ceiling, walls, lighting and paving of the structure will begin at the better end of 2019 and is expected to last four years.

    In total, 120 000 vehicles, of which 15 000 trucks each day will have to find a different route.