Heavy Fog Causes Massive Car Pileup in Somerset, England

November 6, 2011; 2:24 AM ET
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Rescue workers manage the scene of the M5 crash near the town of Hungerford in the U.K. Photo courtesy of U.K. station Channel 4 News.

Heavy fog on the M5 motorway in Somerset Saturday caused a 38-car accident that killed at least seven people and injured more than 50 others.

Reports from the BBC state that a van skidded and struck the center barrier triggering a chain reaction accident Friday evening local time. Heavy fog was reported in the area following a day with heavy rain.

"Visibility near the scene at the time of the accident was down to less than a quarter of a mile," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Eric Leister.

Officials reported that visibility was very poor and some drivers failed to reduce their speed. Fireworks nearby are also suspected to have played a role in the visibility issue.

After the initial accident, a fire resulted from leaking fuel and vehicles carrying flammable materials. Several cars caught fire, the Guardian reported.

Rescue efforts were hampered by the flames and intense heat.

Victims are being taken to the Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton. The Yeovil District Hospital is reported to have received 26 walk-in patients. As of Saturday morning local time, 24 of the injured had been released. A man and a boy are still hospitalized, but their condition is not considered life-threatening.

Police of Avon and Somerset have set up a special phone line for people concerned about relatives. They are advising people to call 0800 092 0410.

The BBC reports that the M5 is closed between junction 24 for Bridgwater and 25 for Taunton and will not reopen until at least Sunday morning.

An investigation into the crash is reported to be focusing on the fireworks from a nearby rugby club.

Channel 4 News of the UK supplied this video taken at the scene of the crash.


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