Four people have been killed in a motorway accident in which a mobile crane crossed the central reservation and crashed into oncoming traffic.
The crash, which happened at 1900 GMT on Thursday night, has caused traffic chaos overnight, with stationary queues several miles long on the M6 in Cheshire.
The eight-wheel crane collided with an articulated lorry close to junction 18 of the M6 at Holmes Chapel.
The lorry was pushed down an embankment and its driver suffered “serious but not life-threatening” injuries.
The crane then ploughed through the central barrier and landed on top of an oncoming car, which was also struck from behind by a lorry carrying oil drums.
The driver of the crane, the car and the second lorry were all killed.
Police later confirmed a fourth person had died, though no details are yet available.
The oil drums were scattered over the motorway, adding to what one policeman referred to as a “scene of utter carnage”.
The injured man has been taken to Leighton Hospital in nearby Crewe.
Police closed both carriageways between junctions 17 and 19 to allow rescue and recovery vehicles to the scene.
Motorists were diverted throughout the evening but many people were delayed for up to five hours and did not arrive home until the early hours of Friday.
Experts from the Environment Agency will return to the scene on Friday morning to assess whether oil from the spilt drums had polluted the river Dane.
Six ambulances and six fire engines attended the scene, along with three mobile support teams and a medical team from Crewe.
A spokesman for Cheshire police said the dead would not be identified until next of kin had been informed.
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Category: Accident Report