Emergency crews attend a fire after an accident on highway 407, as shown in this still image taken from a video provided by Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt, in Toronto on Wednesday Oct. 31, 2018. Officials say two people have been killed in a multi-vehicle crash that sparked a tanker fire on a major toll highway in the Toronto area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Ontario Provincial Police-Sergeant Kerry Schmidt

Two killed in Ontario crash that sparked tanker fire

“I could see smoke from kilometres away as I was heading to the scene”

Two men were killed in a multi-vehicle crash that sparked a massive tanker fire on a major toll highway in the Toronto area on Wednesday, emergency officials said.

The crash happened just before 5 p.m. on Highway 407 in Vaughan, Ont., where provincial police said a westbound tanker crossed several lanes of traffic, jumped a median and collided with an eastbound passenger vehicle. Both vehicles burst into flames and were still smouldering hours later.

In a video posted on Twitter, provincial police spokesman Sgt. Kerry Schmidt described the collision as “massive” and said the investigation would take some time.

“I could see smoke from kilometres away as I was heading to the scene,” Schmidt said later during a media availability at the scene of the crash.

He said both vehicles were “completely consumed in flames.”

Schmidt confirmed Wednesday night the victims were a 41-year-old male truck driver from Brampton, Ont., and a 49-year-old man from Mississauga, Ont.

Deputy Chief Andrew Zvanitajs with the Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service said the crash involved a tanker trailer carrying liquid fuel.

“When our firefighters arrived, they weren’t able to get close to it because of the heat coming off of it,” Zvanitajs said in a phone interview.

“But that type of heavy black smoke, and that amount of flame, would lead them to believe that it’s a liquid fuel product of some sort … gasoline or diesel would be the most commonly transported.”

Zvanitajs said crews used specialized foam to fight the blaze, and the flames were under control by 7 p.m. He expected firefighters would be on the scene for several more hours.

York Region spokeswoman Kylie Doerner said two people were pronounced dead at the scene and no one was taken to hospital.

Meanwhile, Mississauga resident Robert Kostiuk said he was returning home from work in Pickering, Ont., when he saw a vehicle ahead of him heading toward the median.

“When I saw it driving sideways, I knew that something was wrong,” said Kostiuk.

Kostiuk, who works for Ontario Power Generation, recorded the fiery crash on his dashboard camera and posted the video to YouTube. He said he’s never seen anything this bad.

The highway was closed in both directions between Keele and Dufferin streets well into the evening. Schmidt said he expected the westbound lanes to reopen overnight, but the eastbound lanes could remain closed until early Thursday morning.

Schmidt said there was some concern about fuel from the tanker spilling into a nearby waterway, and workers from the provincial Environment Ministry were assessing the scene.

He said the extreme heat from the blast has the potential to damage not only vehicles, but the road surface itself, which may need to be repaved.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Purple Day marks long journey for Gorge resident

Legislative Assembly to recognize epilepsy on Tuesday

Increasing cloudiness with a high of 12 C for today

A look ahead at this week’s forecast

Stay alert for spring sweepers on Greater Victoria highways

Motorists asked to be on the lookout as road crews prepare for spring

West Shore RCMP better than municipal police forces, mayors say

West Shore municipalities funding more officers and civilians at local detachment

More people are hauling themselves to Greater Victoria

Victoria ranks second in U-Haul’s migration survey, behind Kingston

VIDEO: Keeping the hope alive, 28 years later

Annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive run raised money for Child Find B.C.

Tofino woman beseeches town for nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

B.C. doctor reprimanded for accessing medical records without consent

Doctor admits to accessing records of the woman carrying his child

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Edmonton judge to rule on whether Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Canada’s top court ruled punishment handed Khadr for alleged acts committed in Afghanistan when he was 15 was to be a youth sentence

Kootenay city councillor starts nationwide climate caucus for municipal politicians

Climate Leadership Caucus has 57 members including seven mayors

Trudeau delivers campaign-style speech while introducing candidate Taggart

The Order of British Columbia recipient said she wants to be the people’s voice in Ottawa

Most Read