A 14-vehicle crash along a major highway in Ontario has left at least two people dead and more injured, CTV reported.
The crash took place Tuesday night south of Barrie, Ontario, located near Toronto, Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kerry Schmidt told the network.
Two fuel tankers and other transport trucks were involved in the accident.
The crash, he said, caused “massive fireballs and massive explosions” and utterly destroyed the vehicles. He described them as “shells” with “nothing left.”
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“It is absolutely devastating. I don’t think I’ve been to a scene that was as incredibly devastating as what this is,” Schmidt told CTV News on Wednesday. “There are cars everywhere. Twisted transport trucks, destroyed vehicles, metal that is unrecognizable as to whether or not it is a vehicle at all or not.”
“We have our support team going through the whole area to determine whether or not there are other victims we are yet to identify and account for,” he said.
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He said that the number of casualties could rise.
“There’s a huge environmental spill as well, with fuel that was leaking and burning at the scene. But we are going to wait for first light before we assess what needs to be done first,” said Schmidt, CBC reported.
Drivers who were stopped nearby were forced to run from their vehicles as the fire and explosions intensified, motorist Robert Bianchi told the broadcaster.
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“I’m still shaking. I can’t believe what I saw,” he told CBC. “So I just stepped on my brakes because I didn’t want to pass by that fire.”
Vincent Di Pinto, another witness, said he saw “a large transport slam nose-first” into another truck that was carrying cars.
“Basically the second vehicle, the white transport, had literally rode right up the vehicle transport,” he said.
“After that I heard some popping sounds, and then a loud explosion … I got out and looked and it was just explosions, one explosion after another and orange flames that were starting to go up into the sky.”
“My understanding is by speaking to the driver of the diesel fuel vehicle that it was laden with fuel and it was just flames shooting out maybe 200 or 300-plus feet in the air,” Di Pinto said.
Reports stated the fire burned for nearly three hours before it was extinguished at 2 a.m. Wednesday.