14-Vehicle Pileup That Killed at Least 2 on Highway 400 Like 'Armageddon,' OPP Say
A stretch of Highway 400 about an hour north of downtown Toronto is closed in both directions this morning after it was turned into a heap of "tangled, twisted metal" from a fatal pileup and subsequent fire that consumed some 14 vehicles.
Ontario Provincial Police said two fully loaded fuel tanker trucks and three transport trucks were involved in the collision around 11:30 p.m. ET Tuesday in the northbound lanes near Cookstown. A series of "explosions" followed the initial crash, witnesses at the scene told CBC Toronto.
"A massive fire consumed nearly all the vehicles involved," said Sgt. Kerry Schmidt.
"There are multiple fatalities," he added, noting only two deaths have been confirmed but the victims have not been identified.
Highway 400 will be closed between Highway 88 and Highway 89 throughout the day. Police are asking drivers to avoid the area completely, and warned that commuters should expect secondary routes like Highway 27, Weston Road and Yonge Street to be significantly backed up.
"We have not had a chance to assess the scene. It is tangled, twisted metal, burnt out vehicles of all descriptions. It's something I have never seen in my life," said Schmidt.
He said that when he arrived at the scene early Wednesday morning, it was like "Armageddon."
Emergency crews and canines were canvassing the crash area in a "grid-like pattern" in search of anyone who had not yet been accounted for. It's believed the drivers who survived the crash and were sent to hospital have non-life-threatening injuries, Schmidt said.