The southbound side of the Maine Turnpike between exits 63 and 53, which was shut down following a multivehicle accident on the ice-slicked highway Saturday morning, is now open.

Dan Morin, turnpike spokesman, said the 10-mile section of highway, which was shut down at 4 a.m., reopened at 2 p.m.

The road was closed while crews removed four tractor trailers and a passenger vehicle that crashed.

No one was seriously hurt but one of the tractor trailer drivers had to be extracted from the cab of his truck, Morin said. All five drivers were taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland for treatment of their injuries, said Maine State Police.

Maine State Police said the accident happened when one of the tractor trailers jackknifed, creating a chain reaction.

Three of the tractor trailers crashed into the guardrail and came to rest facing north, two of them rolling over and disgorging their cargo. The passenger vehicle landed in the median and a fourth tractor trailer crashed into the guardrail but remained heading south.

One of southbound lanes on the turnpike reopened for a short while at 7 a.m. but was closed down again.

Speeds on the highway were lowered to 45 mph shortly after midnight due to icy conditions, Morin said.

Beth Quimby can be reached at 791-6363 or at:

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