pickering accident 401 explosion

Dashcam videos show deadly accident and explosion on Highway 401 near Toronto

Commuters taking Highway 401 near Toronto this morning were met with a wall of traffic unimaginably worse than the usual rush hour mess after a horrific accident led to an explosion and the resulting full closure of the ever-bustling thoroughfare.

Two people died in the collision, which took place near the Brock Road exit in Pickering shortly before 11 p.m. Monday night.

Toronto OPP are calling it "a significant incident" involving multiple transport trucks, audible explosions and "out-of-control" infernos that burned on for hours, even sparking eruptions in nearby sewers due to fuel leaking from the first tanker that lost control.

Heavy delays racked several kilometres of roads around the site throughout the night and into this morning, with multiple exits in both directions completely shut down.

Two tractor-trailers and a passenger vehicle were involved.

Ajax and Pickering residents were asked to close their windows due to the potentially hazardous smoke emanating from the scene, while motorists have been advised to continue to avoid the area at all costs.

Shocking videos are circulating on social media in the wake of the catastrophe, some of them showing the chaotic aftermath from the sidelines and others depicting the exact moment the tragedy took place from dangerously close behind it.

In the dead of night, the freeway better resembled the set of an action movie than real life as an enormous fireball burst into the sky and multiple lanes were quickly engulfed in flames.

As of the time of publication, traffic is still extremely backed up all around Durham Region, including on residential side streets as the Brock Road ramp remains shuttered.

Authorities are now saying that a stretch of the arterial route may remain blocked off for days to complete repairs.

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