Sunday, 17 December 2017

Breaking:Six dead in 'very difficult and upsetting' crash in Birmingham

One of the cars involved in the fatal crash
-Police say it is "way too early" to speculate on the cause of the crash, which involved six vehicles in the early hours of Sunday.

-The collision, which involved six vehicles, happened shortly after 1am at the entrance to the underpass on Lee Bank Middleway near Edgbaston.

-West Midlands Police have warned the road is likely to remain closed throughout Sunday, with detectives describing the circumstances of the "serious collision" as "very difficult and upsetting".

A total of six vehicles were involved

Three men were killed after being thrown out of their car, while a black cab driver and his two passengers also died. Three other cars collided as they tried to avoid the initial crash.

Police have launched an investigation and are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

Superintendent Sean Phillips said it was "way too early" to speculate on the reason for the crash.

He told a news conference: "It will take some time to unpick the scene and just understand exactly what's happened. It would be unfair for me to speculate at this time."

Supt Phillips said the speed of the vehicles and whether all those involved were wearing seatbelts would be looked at during the investigation.

The road had been gritted at 5pm the previous evening, he confirmed.

West Midlands Ambulance Service, which dispatched five ambulances and three paramedics, described the scene as "extensive and extremely complex".

Paramedics dealt with 13 patients in total.

The crash happened at the entrance to the underpass on Lee Bank Middleway

A spokesman said a man and woman in the first car "astonishingly" escaped with "relatively minor injuries" despite extensive damage to their vehicle.

The black cab was discovered on its side and the ambulance service said "there was nothing that could be done to save the driver", who was confirmed dead at the scene.

Two passengers in the back, a man and a woman, were quickly removed by the emergency services. The woman was confirmed dead at the scene, while the man died in hospital.

Four men were travelling in the third car involved in the crash, and three of them were also confirmed dead at the crash site.

The other man has been taken to the major trauma centre at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, where he remains in a critical condition.

Of those travelling in the three other cars, two people were taken to Heartlands Hospital with minor injuries.

West Midlands Fire Service said 40 firefighters were sent to the "horrific" crash.

Images of the aftermath have emerged online - and Supt Phillips urged people to send them to police rather than sharing them on the internet.

To share images that would portray something that is perhaps unwelcome for the families and unhelpful for the investigation at this time - I would urge people not to do that.

"I would urge them to contact police and share it with West Midlands Police. It will be treated as evidence and information that might help us piece together exactly what's happened."

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