Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA'S RAMAPHOSA HAILS 'NEW DAWN' IN STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

A controversial Chinese New Year

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

New Beginning? Ramaphosa Replaces Zuma in South Africa

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

On the green slopes: An eco-friendly revolution in French ski resorts?

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The Élysée palace, France's presidential powerhouse

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Is the aviation industry free-riding on climate change efforts?

Read more

FOCUS

The revival of the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Girls in Malawi victims of 'sexual cleansing' ritual

Read more

REVISITED

Video: How the 2014 Winter Olympics transformed Sochi

Read more

Europe

Several dead in massive UK car crash

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-06

At least seven people were killed and more than 50 others were wounded in a huge pile-up involving dozens of vehicles on the M5 motorway in southwest England, police said on Saturday.

REUTERS - At least seven people died when dozens of vehicles piled into each other on a motorway in south west England, triggering a fireball that hampered initial rescue attempts, police said on Saturday.

More than 50 people were injured in the Friday evening incident which was described by police as “horrific”. They warned the death toll could rise as extensive searches were made of vehicles and the carriageway.

“This is a hugely complex operation because of the scale of vehicles and people involved,” Assistant Chief Constable Anthony Bangham told reporters. “For a motorway incident, this is just about as big as it gets.”

About 34 vehicles, including lorries and cars, smashed into each other on the northbound carriageway of the M5 motorway near Taunton, Somerset.

Fires broke out instantaneously, in what was described by the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service as the worst traffic collision rescue workers could remember.

The seven people all died at the scene of the crash, police said. Bangham praised the bravery of witnesses who had tried to rescue those trapped, before they were beaten back by the intensity of the flames.

“There was some real bravery from people trying to help others,” he said. “The intensity of the fire, it was a fireball on the carriageway, made it incredibly difficult for people to approach. But people did their very best.”

The cause of the accident remains unknown, though some witnesses said the conditions had been foggy and wet.
Many of the vehicles were burnt beyond recognition.

“It is a real mash of many, many vehicles,” Bangham said. “It was obviously a very considerable impact. (It is) quite unusual to have such a fireball, and certainly the intensity.”

The motorway, the main gateway to England’s south west, is likely to remain closed in both directions until at least Sunday, he said.
 

Date created : 2011-11-05

COMMENT(S)