At least five people are dead following a multi-vehicle crash and fire on Highway 400 Friday night, Ontario Provincial Police have confirmed.

It happened in the southbound lanes of the highway south of Sheppard Avenue at around 9:45 p.m.

Preliminary information suggested that the fire started after a vehicle ran into the back of a tractor trailer.

Three tractor trailers and at least four other vehicles were involved in the crash, OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said in an update provided from the scene.

“There is some incredible, incredible damage,” he described in an earlier telephone update.

“(It’s) unbelievable really. (There are) things I don’t think I have ever seen before.”

Two patients – a woman and a small child – have been transported to hospital, paramedics said. Their injuries are described as minor.

The southbound lanes of the highway have been closed at Finch Avenue. The northbound lanes are closed at Highway 401.

“I expect Highway 400 southbound to be closed for most of the night,” Schmidt said.