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Tractor-trailer fire shuts down highway near airport

A tractor trailer caught fire Thursday morning on Highway 102 near Halifax Stanfield International Airport. (JEFF DONALDSON)
A tractor trailer caught fire Thursday morning on Highway 102 near Halifax Stanfield International Airport. (JEFF DONALDSON)

A portion of Highway 102 near the Halifax Stanfield international airport was shut down Thursday morning after a tractor-trailer caught fire. 

The inbound lane was closed for more than five hours. Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said water used to extinguish the fire froze, forcing RCMP to detour traffic. 

Jeff Donaldson was passing the truck near Exit 6 shortly after 8 a.m. as he headed to work when he heard an explosion.

“It felt like the whole rear end of my car came off,” said Donaldson. “I looked in my rear-view mirror and I saw some debris flying and smoke coming out of the back of the truck.”

There were no other drivers near Donaldson or the truck at the time of the incident, he said, and his car was not damaged.

Donaldson pulled his car over, checked on the truck driver and passenger and called 911.

“The truck driver pulled out a small extinguisher and tried to extinguish the fire, but it just flashed up again,” he said, noting the flames were coming from the back left axle.

The driver was able to detach the truck from the trailer and move it away from the fire.

Donaldson said the driver told him he was carrying Styrofoam insulation.

The truck fire was extinguished and there were no injuries.

Shauna Pratt said she was stuck in stop-and-go traffic on Highway 102 around 10:30 a.m. for over an hour.

“We sat in traffic a bit, then moved a bit,” said the woman, who was heading to Dartmouth from Truro with her boyfriend for some Boxing Day shopping.

Pratt said they were turned around by RCMP and rerouted at Exit 7.

“Things happen, I’m just glad the truck driver was OK,” Pratt said.

When the couple left the city about two hours later, Pratt said they drove past traffic that was backed up to Exit 8.

Kingsco Transport Ltd., the truck driver’s employer, didn’t have anyone available to comment. 

The cause of the fire is to be determined.

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