Two people are dead and one is in hospital after a head-on collision involving two semi trailer units on N.W.T.'s Highway 3 about 80 kilometres north of Fort Providence.

The injured person was transported to Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife. Police said the extent of their injuries is unknown.

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A Department of Transportation worker stops traffic leaving Yellowknife on Highway 3 Tuesday afternoon, to warn of the road closure between Edzo and Fort Providence due to a fatal collision. (CBC)

Names are not being released until the N.W.T. Coroner's Office has identified the deceased and their families are notified.

The highway between Edzo and Fort Providence will remain closed until at least Wednesday afternoon to allow RCMP to investigate the head-on collision.

RCMP say they are consulting with experts about hazardous material that was being transported at the time of the collision. They say precautions are being taken to ensure public and environmental safety, and there is no risk to the public. 

"Right now we're in a situation where we are trying to wait for the subject matter experts to determine what type of merchandise or what type of product was on the vehicle," Cpl. Barry Ledoux said.

Drivers travelling north gathered this afternoon at the Big River Service Centre in Fort Providence, said general manager Dave Wilkes.

He said grief counsellors were there earlier helping one man who was affected by the crash.

"It's a terrible thing to have happen in the area," he said.

"Of course, being truckers, everyone feels it because that's who goes through here the most. A lot of the truckers are quiet, some are hundled in little groups discussing it. It's pretty sombre around here."


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