TORONTO -- Six people have been taken to hospital, one of them with life-threatening injuries, after the minivan they were travelling in was rear-ended on the QEW near St. Catharines.

The collision happened in the Fort Erie-bound lanes of the highway near Victoria Avenue,  just west of St. Catharines Tuesday afternoon.

Ontario Provincial Police said the collision occurred as the minivan was slowing in traffic.

One person from the van was airlifted to a trauma centre with-life-threatening injuries, while five others from the van were transported to local hospitals with less serious injuries.

One occupant was in the other vehicle, police said.

All Fort Erie-bound lanes were blocked at Victoria Avenue for several hours because of the collision, OPP said.

Police said all lanes were expected to reopen by 7 p.m.

OPP are investigating the collision.