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Hwy. 400 reopens after 96 car pileup near Barrie

ABOVE: Around 9:30am, a sudden snow squall caused whiteouts and zero visibility on the 400, leading to a chain reaction collision that caused many wrecks but only 3 minor injuries. Sean Mallen reports.

TORONTO – Ontario Provincial Police have reopened Highway 400 after collisions involving 96 vehicles forced the closure of both the north and southbound lanes north of Toronto Thursday morning.

The crashes happened between Highway 89 and Mapleview Drive near Barrie around 9 a.m.

“You couldn’t really do anything, you couldn’t see and the only thing you can really do is pull over but you were taking a chance when someone is going to run into you,” said OPP Sgt. Dave Woodford at the scene of the pileup.

READ MORE: Driving in whiteout conditions: Dos and Don’ts

Environment Canada issued a snow squall watch Thursday morning for the Greater Toronto Area as an arctic cold front was making its way through Southern Ontario bringing with it a band of heavy snow flurries.

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WATCH: Witnesses describe what they saw

Motorists were reminded to prepare for a sudden drop in visibility with blowing snow and dangerous driving conditions.

“It’s just like an accordion, all the way back for about a kilometre,” said Sgt. Woodford.

READ MORE: Involved in an at-fault car accident? You are still entitled to benefits

No major injuries were reported but three people were taken to hospital in non-life threatening condition.

“Nothing serious as far as injuries go. But still, a lot of people are still being looked at by EMS with cuts and bruises as a result,” said Sgt. Woodford.

Police had the highway closed for most of the afternoon as crews cleared the scene.

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Highway 400 just south of Barrie is closed in both directions due to a multi-vehicle collision on Feb. 27, 2014. Sean Mallen/Global News
Highway 400 just south of Barrie is closed in both directions due to a multi-vehicle collision on Feb. 27, 2014. Sean Mallen/Global News
Highway 400 just south of Barrie is closed in both directions due to a multi-vehicle collision on Feb. 27, 2014. Sean Mallen/Global News

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