Ontario Provincial Police now say that about 70 vehicles were involved in a massive pileup that shutdown Highway 401 near Newcastle Friday.

It happened at around 3 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of Highway 401 near Newtonville Road.

A total of five people were transported to hospital as a result, including two with serious injuries.

It was not originally known how many vehicles were involved in the chaos, but one day later a clearer picture is beginning to emerge.

“Although the collision investigation is still on-going, it is estimated that approximately 70 vehicles were involved in the initial multi-vehicle incident,” a news release from the OPP states. “There were also minor collisions, which occurred behind the initial collision as the flow of traffic came to a stop.”

All eastbound lanes of Highway 401 were closed until 10:20 p.m. and all westbound lanes were shuttered until 11:40 p.m. while police removed vehicles from the highway.

According to the OPP news release, Durham Region Transit and Go Transit buses were brought in to shuttle those involved in the wreckage from their vehicles to a nearby community centre.

The investigation into the cause of the collision is ongoing, but on Friday OPP Const. Linda Wolf told CP24 that weather was likely a factor.

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