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UPDATE: Coquihalla reopens; four taken to hospital

Reports say nine patients will be taken to hospital as a result of the Hwy. 5 crash

UPDATE: 5 p.m.

The Coquihalla has reopened in both directions following a multi-vehicle accident south of Merritt.

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UPDATE: 2:20 p.m.

DriveBC reports the southbound side of the Coquihalla should reopen at 5 p.m. The next update is expected at 4 p.m.

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UPDATE: 1:40 p.m.

The Coquihalla has now reopened northbound between Hope and Merritt after an earlier accident shut down the highway both ways.

In a late afternoon tweet, BC Emergency Health Services said they were sending three ambulances to an accident southbound near the Coldwater Exchange on Hwy. 5.

Initial reports said that nine patients needed to be taken to hospital.

The exchange is located just south of Merritt.

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UPDATE: 1 p.m.

The Coquihalla is now closed in both directions between Hope and Merritt.

A multi-vehicle accident, reportedly near Comstock Road, shut down the highway.

Emergency personnel are on the scene of the crash.

DriveBC reports there is no estimated time of opening. Detours are available via Highway 1 or 3.

The next update is expected at 3 p.m.

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ORGINAL: 12:30 p.m.

The Coquihalla is closed southbound between Hope and Merritt.

A multi-vehicle accident, reportedly near Comstock Road, shut down the highway.

DriveBC reports Highway 5 is closed southbound at the Coldwater Interchange and there is no estimated time of opening.

Reports on social media indicate the accident involves more than a dozen vehicles.

A travel advisory is currently in effect on the Coquihalla between Merritt and Hope.

“Heavy snowfall is expected to continue into this evening between Merritt and Hope, extending into Tuesday, producing limited visibility due to blowing snow,” writes DriveBC.

“Travellers are advised to exercise caution, be prepared for potential delays, and consider alternate routes.”

Related: Wintry weather to roll into Southern Interior

For more information on driving in winter conditions, click here.

For up to date details on highway conditions and road closures check DriveBC.

You can also monitor Environment Canada for alerts, warnings and updated forecasts.

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