Ornge air ambulances dispatched to Highway 401 near Chatham after double accidents

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An Ornge air ambulance takes off from Highway 401 near Tilbury in this file photo.

An Ornge air ambulance takes off from Highway 401 near Tilbury in this file photo. Jason Kryk / Windsor Star

Highway 401 east of Essex County is a mess after accidents affecting east- and west-bound traffic.

Ornge air ambulance units from London and Toronto were dispatched late Sunday afternoon to Highway 401 near Chatham following twin accidents.

Eastbound lanes were closed near Merlin Road in Tilbury due to a five-vehicle accident — the second time that stretch of the road was closed on the weekend. The Ontario Provincial Police said the injuries to those involved were minor. As of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, police said the eastbound lanes in that area would remain closed at County Road 42 indefinitely.

Drivers can detour around the accident by following the emergency detour route at County Road 42.

Highway 401 westbound lanes were closed at Bloomfield Road following another collision. OPP were advising motorists to avoid the area and expect delays. Witnesses stuck in traffic reported a person being transported from the scene via air ambulance.

Eastbound Highway 401 had already been closed for three hours at Merlin Road on Friday night, with bottlenecking traffic into the night. A chain-reaction crash involved five tractor trailers. Three people were hospitalized with minor injuries.

Updates to follow.

Tharris@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/Tamarmharris


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