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5 dead in head-on collision in Chapais, Que.

Quebec's provincial police service, the Sûreté du Québec, is investigating the circumstances around the fatal collision. (Simon Rail-Laplante/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Quebec's provincial police service, the Sûreté du Québec, is investigating the circumstances around the fatal collision. (Simon Rail-Laplante/Radio-Canada - image credit)

A head-on collision between a pickup truck and a van on Route 113, just outside of Chapais, Que., has killed five people, according to Quebec provincial police.

According to the Sûreté du Québec, four people were in the van while the other victim, a 45-year-old man from Chapais, was driving the pickup truck. The passengers aboard the van included three men aged 47, 63 and 69, and a 60-year-old woman, as reported by Radio-Canada. They were all from the Cree community of Waswanipi.

Chapais is located in the Nord-du-Québec region, about 700 kilometres north of Montreal.

The collision happened at kilometre 338 around 1:15 p.m. The pickup truck deviated from its lane to hit the van. The road has been closed indefinitely in both directions.

Forensic identification technicians with the SQ are headed to the site of the crash to investigate the fire.

Condolences pouring in

The Cree First Nation of Waswanipi shared its condolences in a Facebook post Thursday evening.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who suffered losses and to the community as a whole," it says.

Chief Irene Neeposh said the four victims from Waswanipi were highly involved in the community.

"The accident which led to a tragedy caused us to lose four members: a teacher, a carpenter, a pastor and a patient transport driver. It affects us all personally," she told Radio-Canada's C'est jamais pareil.

Quebec's Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafrenière also expressed his condolences and reached out to Chief Neeposh, he told CBC News in a statement.

Other politicians like Premier François Legault, Health Minister Christian Dubé and the Minister Responsible for the Northern Quebec Jean Boulet also shared their condolences on X, formerly Twitter.