Two people were killed and another 70 injured in a massive, roughly 200-car pileup outside of Montreal.
A sudden blizzard blinded drivers as it swept through a highway in the city suburb of La Prairie, Quebec, leaving a nearly mile-long stretch of wrecked of sedans, buses and trucks, the Canada Broadcasting Corporation reported.
“People were driving, there were strong winds … and, suddenly, you couldn’t see anything,” Transport Minister Francois Bonnardel told reporters. “And then, well, the pileup started.”
At least two drivers were trapped in their vehicles for more than five hours after the crash occurred around 12:30 p.m, according to the Guardian.
Footage shows a heap of cars completely totaled, with first responders laboring to tow vehicles out of snowbanks along the roadway.
A yellow school bus appeared to collide with a tanker truck with a flammable materials sign — two of 75 vehicles that had to be towed from the scene, according to reports.
Of the 70 injuries, 20 were critical, officials said.
“I spoke to a few people who couldn’t see anything, and then they saw trucks up close. These people were immediately pulled aside and looked after,” Sébastien Lavoie, of the La Prairie fire department.
The crash closed Highway 15 into Thursday and prompted new calls for safety from elected officials.
Local Mayor Donat Serres blamed the freak blizzard on a 2000s rebuild of the highway, which raised its height and created a “springboard effect” drawing strong winds off a nearby river, the CBC reported.
“I think we need an intervention plan and that we find solutions,” he said.