Police with long guns stop traffic on highway 5.
UPDATE: 3:50 p.m
The Coquihalla Highway is expected to be closed for “the next few hours,” according to a brief news release issued by the RCMP on Wednesday.
Sgt. Chris Manseau of the RCMP is calling the situation “an active police incident.”
“No public or commercial vehicle is allowed passage at this time,” he said. “The public should anticipate delays and plan alternate routes for the next few hours while this incident unfolds.”
Sgt. Manseau says “a large number of police resources from surrounding areas” are being deployed to the Juliet Bridge area in Coquihalla, about 50 kilometers south of Merritt. RCMP Emergency Response Team vehicles have been seen leaving West Kelowna, presumably heading towards the incident.
“Any members of the public in the area are asked to avoid this area and refrain from publicizing police actions online,” said Sgt. Manseau said.
UPDATE: 3:30 p.m
At least nine RCMP Emergency Response Team vehicles have recently left West Kelowna, headed for the Coquihalla Highway, according to a Castanet reader.
A police incident has closed Coquihalla Highway in both directions Wednesday afternoon, between Merritt and Hope. Few details have been released, but Castanet has received an unconfirmed report of the incident involving one or more armed suspects.
According to the reader, the ERT vehicles have been leaving West Kelowna in the past hour and a half, presumably en route to the incident.
Castanet has contacted the RCMP about the incident, but no information has been released at this time.
A “police incident” has completely closed the Coquihalla Highway Wednesday.
Few details have been released, but DriveBC reports that the closure stretches all the way from Hope to Merritt, in both directions.
While Coquihalla regularly closes during the winter months due to inclement weather and vehicle accidents, Wednesday’s closure is for a “police incident.”
Castanet has received an unconfirmed report that the incident may involve one or more armed suspects in the area, but there are no details on the case at this time. A Castanet reader reported that a TransMountain pipeline crew near Coquihalla has been evacuated, but this has also not been confirmed.
Castanet will update this story as more information becomes available.
— Kevin Cage (@kcage604) 23 November 2022