plane 407

Toronto traffic totally effed after plane makes emergency landing on Highway 407

A plane landing on the 407 is as good an excuse as any for being late to whatever you've got going on in the Greater Toronto Area today, chiefly because it's true.

York Regional Police are reporting that a small plane experienced "mechanical difficulties" after leaving Buttonville Municipal Airport in Markham this morning, forcing the pilot to perform an emergency landing.

Fortunately, there was a tolled 400-series highway nearby — a highway many people pay to use every day in the hopes of avoiding traffic and getting around a bit faster — for the airborne vehicle to land upon.

The plane landed safely on the 407 near Woodbine around 10:50 a.m. and sustained no damage, according to police. Two people are believed to have been aboard the plane but no injuries have been reported.

It's a good news story, all around, thanks to the pilot's quick actions, but drivers heading east or west north of Toronto are a bit screwed, as are drivers on many local roads and highways as people seek alternate routes to the still-closed 407.

Ontario Provincial Police have taken over the investigation and say that the plane had just recently been inspected and given the okay to fly. It was only in the air for a couple of minutes, according to OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, before it started experiencing trouble.

Schmidt said in a Periscope shortly before noon on Wednesday that airport officials were working with police to safely remove the aircraft, leaving only one lane open on the eastbound 407 ETR west of Woodbine.

Traffic is still moving through the area, according to Schmidt, but it's not exactly flying (har har.)

Those who wish to avoid paying to potentially sit in traffic can use the 401 instead, but be warned: It can turn into a parking lot fast even without emergency landings involved.

Update: The 407 ETR confirmed just before 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday that the plane had been cleared from the highway and that crews were in the process of reopening all impacted lanes.

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