Highway 400 multi-vehicle pileup

Highway 400 multi-vehicle pileup

Published: 2017-11-01 | 

A diesel tanker truck exploded just before 11:30 p.m., starting a fire that spread to several other vehicles and sent huge flames and billowing plumes of black smoke into the night sky. Up to 14 vehicles may have been involved in the chain reaction collision, OPP said. Explosions could be heard and seen for kilometres from the site of the crash.

The number of injuries from the fire is unknown. Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the OPP confirmed at least one fatality at the scene via a Periscope broadcast. Katlin Shaw was driving up the highway with her fiancee when the fire broke out. “It was scary,” she wrote in a Facebook message. “Everyone was pulling onto the side and people were getting out of their cars and checking it out." Shaw and her fiancee were safely evacuated. “It was scary as ever,” she reiterated, “because it was so close and the woods were starting to get on fire as well."

About 20 fire units from five departments were believed to be assisting in putting out the blaze, alongside emergency response from the OPP Highway Safety Division and Nottawasaga OPP detachment, as well as Simcoe County and York Region paramedics. Highway 400 remained closed in both directions in all lanes between Highway 89 and Simcoe County Road 88 into the early morning hours of Wednesday. The reopening time is unknown, the OPP said. The section of the highway not only won't be open for the morning rush hour, it could take another day at least to clean up the mess, the Ministry of Transportation said.

Highway 400 was initially shut down late Tuesday night in both directions between Highway 9 in King Township and Innisfil Beach Road following the fiery crash in Bradford-West Gwillimbury. The OPP reopened Highway 400 southbound between Innisfil Beach Road and Highway 89 and between Highway 9 and Simcoe Road 88 northbound at about 1:30 a.m. The Ministry of Transportation urged motorists to avoid the area.

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