Officials expect the main highway between Yellowknife and the south to remain closed until late Wednesday or possibly Thursday following an accident which left two people dead and one hospitalized.

N.W.T. Department of Transportation spokesman Earl Blacklock said there was cleanup required following the RCMP investigation of the crash site.

"It will of course take time for both the investigation and the clean up of the hazardous material to take place," he said, noting the highway re-opening has been delayed.

Blacklock suggested travellers consult the Department of Transportation website for updates.

RCMP said the trucks were carrying hazardous material but would not say what type of hazardous material.

The highway has been closed since early Tuesday after a head-on collision involving two semi trailer trucks 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.

The names of the victims were not being released until their families were notified.