British Columbia

Chemical spill ties up Vancouver traffic

Two people were treated for chemical inhalation and traffic was stopped for several blocks in downtown Vancouver after a spill at a construction site Friday evening.

Two people were treated for chemical inhalation and traffic was stopped for several blocks in downtown Vancouver after a spill at a construction site Friday evening.

Construction workers apparently poured too much urethane foam at a site near in the 900 block of Nelson Street near Hornby Street at about 6:30 p.m. PT.

The excess caused smoke to billow out of the building and prompted complaints of a powerful and irritating odour.

The foam that was being used to raise concrete spilled out onto the road, spreading acrid fumes for blocks.

Authorities were asking people to stay away from the area, and downtown traffic was thrown into chaos for more than two hours.

"It is an irritant," said Vancouver fire department battalion chief John Hudson. "If you can manage to stay out of the vapour trail, the better for you."

Two workers were treated at the scene by paramedics, Hudson said. Worksafe BC will investigate the incident, he said.