Five people were taken to hospital after a multi-vehicle crash involving an ambulance shut down an intersection near Vancouver General Hospital for several hours Monday night.

Three paramedics, a patient inside the ambulance and the driver of a grey Honda Civic were all taken to hospital as a precaution, according to police. 

Const. Steve Addison said investigators believe the ambulance was travelling north on Oak Street with its lights and sirens activated when it was struck by the Civic, which was headed east on West 12th Avenue. 

The impact of the collision sent the ambulance careening into a third vehicle as the Civic crashed into a garbage can.

The advanced life support ambulance sustained front-end and driver's side damage. All the vehicles involved were towed away.

Vancouver police collision investigators were on scene overnight piecing together exactly what happened. Addison said the investiation is still ongoing.