Reopening of Westbound Lanes on Highway 401 in Pickering Following Fatal Crash and Explosion

Team Parvasi – Inside

The westbound lanes of Highway 401 reopened this morning after the police concluded the on-scene investigation of Tuesday’s tragic crash and subsequent explosion. Commuters can now traverse the westbound side of the highway at Westney Road. However, the eastbound lanes remain closed at present.

The devastating incident occurred late Tuesday night when a tanker truck crashed and erupted into a massive fireball near Brock Road, prompting authorities to issue warnings of a prolonged closure. According to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, the preliminary findings suggest that the tanker truck, traveling in the eastbound lanes, lost control for reasons yet to be determined. The driver collided with the central concrete wall and rolled into the westbound lanes, causing the tank to rupture and unleashing 54,000 liters of highly flammable liquid onto the highway.

The flammable substance sprayed across the roadway, leading to fires that engulfed the tanker truck, another transport truck, and a passenger vehicle in the westbound lanes. Tragically, both transport truck drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. Fortunately, the occupants of the passenger vehicle managed to escape the collision with only minor injuries.

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The crash resulted in significant damage to the road, an overpass, and catch basins in the vicinity due to ensuing fires and multiple explosions. A collision reconstruction unit was deployed on Wednesday to piece together the precise sequence of events.

Today, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) confirmed the conclusion of the on-scene investigation. The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is currently evaluating the condition of the overpass, road surface, and other infrastructure affected by the incident. Commuters are advised that morning traffic may still experience disruptions, and alternate routes should be considered.

The investigation into the cause of the crash and the subsequent cleanup efforts will continue, as authorities work diligently to ensure the safe reopening of the eastbound lanes on Highway 401 in Pickering.


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