OPP could not confirm the number of vehicles but one of them was a fuel tanker truck, spokesperson Kerry Schmidt said in a video posted on Twitter.
OPP Staff Sgt. Carolle Dionne said accidents involving any type of vehicle carrying fuel can be dangerous: “There is always the risk of fire with a fuel tanker or any vehicle carrying dangerous goods.”
York paramedics said they received the call at 4:56 p.m. and arrived on scene with several transport crews.
Spokesperson Gary Fineberg said two people were pronounced dead at the scene.
Paramedics said they did not take any other patients to hospital.
The collision occurred on the eastbound side of Highway 407 between Dufferin and Keele. Schmidt said “vehicles” crossed over from the westbound lane to the eastbound lane, colliding with vehicles from the eastbound lane. The collision caused a fire and “significant” damage to the highway, OPP said.
“The collision is massive, the fire is still burning,” said Schmidt on social media around 6 p.m.
York deputy fire chief Andew Zvanitajs said around 6:30 p.m. the fire was under control, with 30 firefighters on scene responding to the 3-alarm fire.
He said fire services haven’t yet determined exactly what fuel the tanker was carrying other than it’s a hydrocarbon. The emissions caused by the fire don’t warrant an evacuation, he said, but added that tests were going to be conducted.
OPP shut down the highway’s eastbound lanes at Keele St. and the westbound lanes at Dufferin St. as well as ramps from Hwy. 400 to Hwy. 407 on the eastbound lanes.
“This will be a significant investigation and closure.”
The OPP said drivers should avoid the area of the collision, and advised that drivers get off the highway well before Hwy. 400 in the westbound lane and around Yonge St. in the eastbound.