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Stretch of Highway 401 closed in Pickering after fiery crash leaves at least 2 dead

At least two people are dead after a three-vehicle crash sparked a massive fireball on Highway 401 in Pickering, east of Toronto, on Tuesday night, Ontario Provincial Police say. 

Highway shut down near Brock Road in both directions, will remain closed into Wednesday morning.

Highway 401 fire

At least two people are dead after a three-vehicle crash sparked a massive fireball on Highway 401 in Pickering, east of Toronto, on Tuesday night, Ontario Provincial Police say.

The collision of two transport trucks and a passenger vehicle resulted in an explosion and fire that consumed all three vehicles, on the highway near Brock Road at approximately 10:30 p.m., according to Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, spokesperson for the OPP’s Highway Safety Division.

Both drivers of the two transport trucks were found without vital signs and pronounced dead at the scene, Schmidt said.

He said the driver and a passenger in the third vehicle were not injured and were able to escape the explosion and fire.

Highway 401 is closed in both directions, between Westney Road in Ajax and Whites Road in Pickering, and will likely remain closed into the morning rush due to fire damage.

Schmidt said commuters should expect a “traffic mess” throughout the crash area all day as drivers are rerouted off the highway to avoid the crash site.

“Traffic will be very heavy,” Schmidt said in a video posted to Twitter Wednesday morning.

“Anyone travelling in that area is advised to avoid it as wide as possible.”

Dylan Mohammed was driving to Vaughan when he came up on the fiery crash.

“Just cruising on the highway and all of a sudden I saw this explosion, I didn’t even know what to do, just a massive fireball,” Mohammed told CBC Toronto.

​”I panicked and I had to literally swerve​ right and stop … in a matter of five seconds, I would’ve been involved in that.”

Deadly crash closes stretch of Highway 401

Emergency crews rushed to the scene of a major crash east of Toronto late Tuesday night that left at least two people dead.

The explosions were loud enough for residents living near the highway to hear them from inside their homes.

“We were just watching TV and all of a sudden, we heard a major explosion and bright lights coming into our townhouse,” said Norm Belley.

“It was very scary, we jumped out of our seats and we ran out to look quickly to see.”

Schmidt said the fire has done damage to the Brock Road overpass. A collision reconstruction unit is on scene to piece together exactly what led to the crash.

Hundreds of vehicles were stuck in traffic Tuesday night as a result of the collision, he said.

A transport truck was consumed by a fire after a three-vehicle collision on Highway 401 in Pickering Tuesday night.

Schmidt said it’s not known the nature of the smoke and toxins. He said Pickering and Toronto firefighters were on scene waiting for the fire to die down before they worked on it.

“There have been explosions reported along the sewers as this fluid has been going into the catch basins.”

Police say they are looking to speak to the occupants of a red Chevy Volt who were involved in the collision on the 401.

A burnt car on the shoulder of a highway

With files from The Canadian Press

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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