Highway 401 has reopened following Sunday morning’s massive explosion at a propane facility that rocked the city’s northwest end.
However there are still some restrictions, according to the OPP.
The following ramps will remain closed for the time being: Hwy 401 eastbound ramps to Keele St., Dufferin St., and Allen Rd. and Hwy 401 westbound ramps to Allen Rd. ( express and collector lanes), and Keele St.
A portion of the busy highway was shut for safety reasons, as it was within an area deemed unsafe following the series of blasts just before 4am.
Three TTC subway stations were also closed for hours as the six-alarm fire raged at Sunrise Propane Industrial Gases. Downsview, Yorkdale, and Wilson stations on the Yonge-University-Spadina line were closed in the wake of the Sunday morning blast, but they reopened mid-afternoon.
The blast occurred on Murray Road, and it forced the evacuation of an area bounded by Sheppard in the north, 401 in the south, Allen Rd in the east and Jane in the west.
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The explosion and subsequent six-alarm fire created huge traffic tie-ups, forcing the closure of the 401 from the DVP to Hwy 400. The roads were a nightmare for much of Sunday. Travellers were unable to exit Highways 401 and 400 for kilometres..
On the surface, many TTC routes were being diverted. Up to 30 buses were being used as temporary shelters.
Shuttles were being provided, however, no shuttles will run in the evacuated area. They will detour around the evacuated zones.
Ross outlined how the TTC was helping other emergency crews at the scene of the explosion.
He said that they were getting the buses out, working with police and fire on the evacuation and with the City of Toronto. He called their work a team effort.
Bus routes in the area have been diverted. They are:
- 107 Keele North
- 84 Sheppard
- 96 Wilson
- 29 Dufferin
- 165 Weston
- 108 Downsview
An evacuation hotline has been set up at York University for those trying to contact loved ones they believe have been forced to leave their homes. That number is 416-736-5185.
Image courtesy viewer Yanna Brook.