Oxford

M40 fatal crash: Pile-up was a 'series' of accidents

Some of the cars involved in the M40 crash in Oxfordshire
Image caption Police said it was a "serious blessing" more people were not killed in the crash

A fatal crash involving more than 30 cars was a "series of accidents", the fire service has said.

A 65-year-old man from Woking, Surrey, died on the M40 following the collision between junction 9 and 10 at 07:45 GMT on Saturday.

Kerry Blair, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service's incident commander, said: "It was a series of accidents in the same place at the same time."

Four people are still in hospital in a stable condition, police said.

At the height of the response about 50 firefighters were sent to the scene. The cause of the crash is being investigated by Thames Valley Police.

The motorway was closed northbound for more than eight hours on Saturday morning.

According to Thames Valley Police six people were seriously injured and 55 had minor injuries.

Mr Blair said: "There was an accident immediately opposite the main incident - at one stage we were dealing with scenes on both sides.

"It is a matter of trying to break down what we have to deal with and make sure we are prioritising appropriately.

"It was fairly clear early on there were eight scenes where we would need to use the hydraulic cutting gear."

Image copyright Thames Valley Police
Image caption Police described the crash as "extraordinarily large"

Sgt Ashley Hannibal, from Thames Valley Police force's serious collision investigation unit, said the scene was being digitally reconstructed as part of the inquiry.

Ch Insp Henry Parsons said fog had "played a major part" in what he described as an "extraordinarily large" collision.

He added it was a "serious blessing" more people were not killed.

Image caption Police, the ambulance service and the fire service were called to the scene

A South Central Ambulance Service spokeswoman said rapid response vehicles, ambulances, its helicopter, a doctor and a "hazardous area response team" attended.

Four miles of queues were reported northbound, with delays of about an hour, during the road closure.

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Media captionThe road was closed for eight hours
Image copyright Zara Smith
Image caption South Central Ambulance Service said it was foggy at the time of the crash
Image caption Four miles of queues were reported on the M40 northbound

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