Ramore, ON

A crash of a Brinks tractor-trailer in northeastern Ontario this morning seriously injured the two occupants, and scattered millions of dollars in Canadian coins on the highway and in the nearby bush.

The crash happened on Highway 11, south of Ramore, north of Kirkland Lake, when the tractor-trailer collided with a rock cut in Benoit Township around 4 a.m.

It also caused a series of chain-reaction collisions that involved a minivan and two other tractor-trailer units.

Ontario Provincial Police closed the highway from Matheson to Kenogami, and said it would remain that way for several hours.

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Highway 11 remains closed from Cochrane to Kenogami after a Brinks truck hit a rock cut and spilled its load. (Frederic Pepin/Radio-Canada)

One occupant of the Brinks vehicle was taken to Bingham Memorial Hospital in Matheson and the other was taken to a Kirkland Lake hospital.

Both men remain in hospital with life-threatening injuries.

South Porcupine OPP described the "debris field," made up of millions of dollars in Canadian coins, as "massive." The load consisted of loonies and toonies, but the exact value of the money strewn in the area of the crash wasn't immediately known.

The driver of the minivan was uninjured, but the drivers of the other tractor-trailer units sustained minor injuries. They have since been released from the hospital.

Magnetic cranes to be brought in

OPP officer Mark Andrews said Brinks is looking at bringing in a magnetic crane from a nearby scrap yard to pick up the millions in coins. They may use front-end loaders to scoop up dirt, which will be sifted through at another location later.

Andrews also said off-duty OPP officers have been hired to help Brinks staff ward off any potential coin scavenging in the area.

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Millions of dollars worth of coins are strewn around the area of the crash. (Ontario Provincial Police)

One of the tractor-trailer units was reportedly carrying candy, which was also strewn across the crash site.

Const. Marc Depatie from South Porcupine OPP said visibility could have been a factor in the collision.

"This is the first occurrence that I'm aware of where a collision has occurred where the actual load [of Canadian currency]

has been compromised," he said.

Police said Highway 101 remains open to east-west traffic.

Police recommend southbound or cross-country traffic use Highway 655 to Timmins, and then continue south to Sudbury on Highway 144. The opposite route is recommended for northbound traffic or westbound, cross-country traffic.