Major pile-up on British motorway injures up to 30

5th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Up to 30 people were injured and several were feared dead after a massive pile-up on a British motorway Friday, emergency services said.

Television pictures showed a line of vehicles ablaze following the crash involving 26 cars and lorries on the M5 motorway near Taunton, in southwest England.

Dozens of firefighters battled to free people who were trapped in the wreckage of their vehicles on the northbound carriageway, and a long stretch of the motorway was closed and was not set to reopen for 24 hours.

"There are reports of between 25 and 30 injuries, 10 are believed to be life-changing and it is believed that people have lost their lives," a local police spokesman said.

Paul Slave, from the fire and rescue service, told the BBC: "This is the worst road traffic collision anyone can remember... so many vehicles involved."

Eyewitnesses described hearing explosions and seeing vehicles on fire.

"I could see a number of explosions," Jason Sharp, who saw the accident from a nearby rugby club, told the BBC.

"Petrol tanks I believe were going up -- black smoke going up.

"There were a number of heavy vehicles that were on fire in the accident."

© 2011 AFP

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