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article imageUpdated: 7 dead in major 34 vehicle crash on UK motorway

By Gemma Fox     Nov 4, 2011 in World
A major crash involving at least 34 vehicles has taken place on the M5 motorway according to Avon and Somerset Police. The road is currently shut.
Police have confirmed that at least 7 people have died following a crash on the M5 motorway in Somerset last night. The death toll is expected to rise.
Avon and Somerset Police report 51 people have been injured, with some of those injuries thought to be life changing following a road traffic accident involving at least 34 cars and lorries travelling northbound on the M5 motorway in the UK. There are reports that many vehicles are on fire.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service report that at least 6 articulated lorries and 20 light vehicles were involved in the incident. Four people who were trapped within vehicles were released by fire fighters using hydraulic rescue equipment.
The incident happened near junction 25 of the northbound carriageway and currently the road is shut off between junctions 23 and 26.
The incident happened at about 8.25PM this evening (Friday) and police say that the road is likely to remain closed for a number of hours. They also also asked for any witnesses to come forward and assist them with their inquiries into the incident.
Motorists should avoid the area as the road will likely be closed for the next 24 hours. Police, Fire and Ambulance are all in attendance and Chief Inspector Paul Mogg said, "All emergency services are on the scene doing as much as they can to continue the rescue operation and to treat those who are injured.
"There are large tailbacks at present and we would urge all to avoid the area for the next 24 hours at least."
15+ fire appliances working on dampening down vehicles and freeing people.
A dedicated phone line has been set up for those worried about relatives possibly involved in this incident.
Assistant Chief Constable Anthony Bangham said, "Undoubtedly this is a tragic incident. All emergency services are at the scene and are working tirelessly to attend to those who are injured or who are trapped in vehicles.
"We have now launched an emergency number members of the public can call if you genuinely fear for the welfare of a friend or loved one and you fear they may be injured.
"Before you call this number please make all attempts to contact them via mobile phones or via friends, family or by any other usual measures.
"If this fails and you still remain concerned please call 0800 092 0410."
More about road traffic accident, M5, multiple car pile up, avon and somerset, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
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