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Kent crash: Massive car pile-up leaves more than 200 injured

A massive pile-up which involved up to 100 vehicles has caused a litany of injuries during thick fog this morning.

Emergency teams were called to the Sheppey Crossing in Kent at around 07:15 BST, Kent Police said. According to local media reports a number of people were trapped in their vehicles.

There are reports of eight serious injuries and 200 minor injuries.

The accident happened in thick fog with some witnesses saying that visibility was down to 20 yards in places.

"Kent Police was called at about 7.15am on Thursday September 5 to the London-bound carriageway on the Sheppey crossing," a force spokesman said.

"It has been reported there were collisions at the top of the crossing and at the foot of the approach to the crossing. Emergency services are currently at the scene dealing with the incident.

"At this stage it is unknown exactly how many vehicles are involved, but early reports suggest more than 100 vehicles. There are reports of six serious injuries and 200 minor injuries.

"Officers are urging motorists to avoid the area but if a journey to the island is essential, the old Kingsferry Bridge remains open but expect long delays.

"The road remains closed at Cowstead Corner on the island and motorists are being directed on to the Kingsferry Bridge, while the road is closed at the Iwade turn-off and vehicles directed through the village on to the old A249."

A driver involved in the incident, Chris Buckingham, told Sky News: "He was going the other way and what he managed to do, which has probably saved lives, is he's gone down to the end of the carriageway, gone across the roundabout and actually blocked off the road so no more cars could actually enter the dual carriageway before the emergency services got there.

"Whoever that guy is I'd like to shake his hand because he's probably saved lives today."

Earlier reports suggested that around 40 vehicles were involved in the accident but this was later revised upwards to 100. Nine ambulances and six fire engines attended the scene.

Witness Martin Stammers, 45, from Minster, told Kent Online: "It's horrific. I've never seen anything like it in my life. All you could hear was cars crashing. We got out of our car and it was eerily quiet, with visibility down to just 20 yards."

South East Coast Ambulance Service said it was dealing with a major incident with 30 ambulances and cars at the scene, but a spokesman said he was not aware of any deaths.

It has deployed its hazardous area response teams (HART) to the scene and confirmed there was a wide range of injuries from seriously injured to walking wounded.

A Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman also said there were no deaths.

A spokesman said: "Crews are currently at the scene of a serious RTC (road traffic collision) involving up to 100 vehicles.

"There are no fatalities but ambulance crews are dealing with a large number of walking wounded casualties. Firefighters have used hydraulic cutting equipment to release five people from their vehicles.

"Crews are currently at the scene of a serious crash on the New Kingsferry Bridge (A249) in Sheppey involving multiple vehicles. Kent Police and a number of SECAmb (South East Coast Ambulance Service) ambulances are also in attendance. More information to follow."

According to reports the accident happened as traffic was being diverted via the old Sheppey crossing.

Motorists have since been advised to avoid the crossing which connects Sheppey with mainland Kent.

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