One of the trucks involved in the fatal collision on N.W.T.’s Highway 3 on Tuesday is believed to have been carrying 1206 boxes of explosives, CBC News has learned.

The truck carrying the explosives was headed northbound on Highway 3 when it collided with an empty fuel tanker heading south.

Two people died, and a third is in hospital. The highway between Fort Providence and Edzo has been closed since the crash to allow police to investigate.

A trucker who arrived on the scene minutes after the crash said he and others helped load the injured driver of the truck carrying the explosives into Fort Providence's health care van. He said it appeared a second man had been in the cab and died on the scene.

Ventures West owned the fuel truck. President Glenn Bauer confirmed their driver died and the man's son was travelling on the highway in a separate vehicle just minutes ahead of his father. He said the two were from central Alberta.

RCMP say the trucking company is responsible for cleaning up the explosives strewn across the highway, but stress the public is not at risk.

"It's in a remote area," said RCMP Cpl. Barry Ledoux. "We have an area that’s 83 kilometres north of Fort Providence. All precautions have been made to deal with the hazardous material."

Ledoux said the Department of Transportation will be monitoring the cleanup and police will continue to investigate the crash.