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  1. Updates on Tuesday, 24 May 2016
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather updates from 08:00 on Wednesday

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's it from us at Essex Live today - but before we go, we've received news of another Essex winner at Chelsea Flower Show today. 

Kevin Lynch

Weeley-based Ken Muir won silver for their strawberries. Kevin Lynch from the company looks thrilled. 

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with another day's coverage of Essex news. Have a great evening.

The famous planes at Stansted Airport

As the band Iron Maiden parked their Boeing at Stansted Airport for the next few days, we've been wondering what other famous faces have left their jets at the north Essex terminal recently.

Iron Maiden's plane
Stansted Airport

Air Force One spent a few days there (below) when Barack and Michelle Obama came to visit in April...

Air Force One
Simon Dedman

...And just last week the King of Bahrain's plane (below) parked up.

King of Bahrain

Weather: Cloudy, but mostly dry tonight

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

It will be staying generally fine and dry overnight with clear spells, though there may be the odd spot of light rain or drizzle later around the coast. 

Minimum temperature: 8C (46F).

Weather for the East

It will be rather cloudy tomorrow with the odd spot of rain. Most parts staying dry though, with some brighter spells possible during the afternoon. Highs of 13C (55F).

Get the latest forecast for your city, town or village at BBC Weather.

CCTV released after five teenagers left with burns in South Ockendon liquid attack

British Transport Police is looking to trace this man after five teenagers were left with burns when a substance was squirted in their faces.

British Transport Police

The attack happened at about 00:40 at South Ockendon railway station on Sunday, when a group of men jumped off a train travelling towards Barking.

A man then squirted a substance at the victims before re-boarding.

The force said the liquid caused potentially life-changing injuries to two of the victims, both aged 17, and minor burns to three others, aged 16, 17 and 18. All have since been discharged from hospital. 

Another crash closes lanes on clockwise M25

Two lanes are once again closed on the clockwise M25 at J1a, which is just over the Dartford Crossing. 

Traffic suggests it's not having a major effect on the QE2 Bridge at the moment, however you'll find regular updates here.

View more on twitter

In the news: CCTV released in South Ockendon liquid burns attack... Lorry drivers deny Tilbury docks people-smuggling

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Here are the top stories we've covering on Essex Live today:

  • CCTV has been released after five teenagers were left with burns when a liquid was squirted in their faces at South Ockendon railway station on Sunday
  • Two lorry drivers from Northern Ireland have been accused of being part of a people-smuggling operation in Tilbury in which an Afghan man died of a heart attack  
  • Southend United striker Jason Williams has signed a new one-year contract with the Shrimpers  

Five pull out of 'Brexit' music festival

BBC Newsbeat

Boyband Five, which includes Essex lad Scott Robinson (pictured), have pulled out of a "Brexit gig" funded by the Leave.EU campaign.

Their management said they had made the decision after realising the concert was "more a political rally". BPop Live will take place in Birmingham on 19 June - four days before the EU referendum.

Scott Robinson
Getty Images

As it has come to light that this is more a political rally with entertainment included they have both decided to cancel their involvement. They would like to make it clear that as a band Five have no political allegiances or opinions for either side."

Five management

Lorry drivers deny Tilbury docks people-smuggling

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Now, more details on a trial that began at Basildon Crown Court this morning.

Two lorry drivers from Northern Ireland have been accused of being part of a people-smuggling operation in which an Afghan man died of a heart attack.  


Meet Singh Kapoor, 40, was found dead in a shipping container being transported from Belgium to Tilbury in August 2014. Mr Kapoor, his wife and two sons were among 35 Afghan Sikhs in the container.

Stephen McLaughlin, 36, and Martin McGlinchey, 49, deny conspiring to smuggle illegal immigrants into the UK. The trial continues.

Jason Williams signs one-year contract with Southend

Glenn Speller

BBC Essex sport

Southend United striker Jason Williams has signed a new one-year contract with the Shrimpers. 

The 20-year-old played on loan at Chelmsford City for much of last season. 

Getty Images

CCTV released after brick thrown at Southend mosque

Essex Police

Essex Police wants to trace this man after a brick was thrown at a mosque in Southend. 

The incident took place at the Faizane-e-Madina mosque on Milton Road.

Responses to the Lower Thames Crossing consultation

Lots of you gave your views about a new Lower Thames Crossing...

Dartford Crossing stats

Lower Thames Crossing consultation receives 'largest ever' public response

Sticking with the topic of the Dartford Crossing, Highways England said more than 47,000 people gave their views on a new Lower Thames Crossing, making it the "largest ever" public consultation for a UK road project. 

View of the Thames from above
Highways England

Transport bosses want a tunnel linking East Tilbury to Gravesend with various roads to the M25. 

Responses collected during the eight-week consultation will now be looked over before a final decision on the route is made later this year. 

Silver for Essex at Chelsea Flower Show 2016

Congratulations to Coggleshall-based Todd's Botanics which has won a silver-gilt at Chelsea Flower Show 2016.

Mark MacDonald with BBC Essex's Lucy Chamberlain

Here's Mark MacDonald from the company with BBC Essex's Lucy Chamberlain.  

Weather: Cloud increasing this afternoon

BBC Weather

Cloud will gradually begin to increase through this afternoon. 

It will be staying on the breezy side, especially near the coast where there'll be a cool onshore breeze. But in the sunshine it will feel rather pleasant. 

Maximum temperature: 17C (63F).


If you're heading out for lunch, you can find the latest forecast for your area here.

In the news: Man injured in M25 crash... Tilbury Docks container death trial begins

Nick Alliker

BBC Essex

Good afternoon. If you're just joining us here are the top stories we've covered on Essex Live this morning:

  • A man has been injured after three lorries crashed on the M25 in Kent earlier today, causing long delays and nine miles of queues into Essex
  • A trial is under way of two men accused of smuggling 35 immigrants into the UK via Tilbury in a shipping container
  • Iron Maiden have parked their Boeing 747 at Stansted Airport as they take a break from their world tour 

Travel: Traffic easing after M25 clockwise crash

BBC Travel

Traffic is now easing after an accident at J1a on the clockwise M25.

Earlier today, motorists were queuing back over the Dartford Crossing to J29 for the A127 as three lanes were closed. 

You'll find regular travel updates here

Man injured in M25 lorry crash that caused Dartford Crossing chaos

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

We've got an update on the three lorry crash we've been following this morning on the M25 in Kent, which caused nine miles of queues back into Essex. 

The South East Coast Ambulance Service told me one ambulance crew attended the scene at about 07:20.

Paramedics treated a man in his 40s who suffered potential chest and knee injuries, and he was taken to hospital for treatment. 

Fly to the Hills: Iron Maiden's plane lands at Stansted

This was Iron Maiden's plane coming into land at Stansted on Sunday. These photos were tweeted by Stewart Jack

Iron Maiden plane
Iron Maiden plane
Iron Maiden plane

Iron Maiden's plane spotted at Stansted

Have you spotted Iron Maiden's Boeing 747 at Stansted Airport? 

Iron Maiden
Stansted Airport

It's being used as part of the metal titans' world tour and is piloted by vocalist Bruce Dickinson, according the group's website.

It landed at the north Essex terminal on Sunday from South Africa, and is parked there until Thursday when the band heads to Germany. 

Tilbury Docks container death trial begins

A trial is under way of two men accused of smuggling 35 immigrants into the UK via Tilbury in a shipping container.

Meet Singh Kapoor, 40, died during an overnight crossing from Belgium. He was one of 35 Afghan Sikhs, including 15 children, found at Tilbury Docks on the morning of 16 August 2014.  

The container
Essex Police

Stephen McLaughlin, 36, of Limavady, Londonderry, and Martin McGlinchey, 49, of Derryloughan Road, Coalisland, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, both face a charge of conspiring to facilitate illegal entry into the UK. 

The trial at Basildon Crown Court is expected to last four weeks. 

Time for a look at what's happening elsewhere in Essex

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

That's about it for our rolling coverage on the problems entering Kent from Essex this morning. 

We'll continue to cast an eye on the story for any further updates, however we're now going to take a look at what else is happening in the county. 

By the way, if you're heading out in the car this morning, make sure you check the live updates at BBC Essex Travel.

Dartford Crossing chaos: The story so far

So if you're just joining us, it's been a bit of a long journey for motorists travelling from Essex to Kent this morning: 

  • At about 07:22 this morning three lanes were closed on the clockwise M25 at J1a because of a crash involving three lorries
  • Traffic quickly backed up to into Essex and at its worst was queuing for nine miles to J29 for the A127 
  • Three out of four lanes have now reopened and recovery work is under way 
  • It's the third incident to occur at the crossing in 24 hours, with two crashes and engineering problems causing long delays

Your pictures: Rainbow across the Southend skyline

If you've been stuck in your car for hours, surely a rainbow across the Southend skyline will help you relax?

BBC Weather Watchers/ChrisG

This was uploaded by BBC Weather Watcher "ChrisG" yesterday evening. 

Spare a thought for lorry driver 'Big Al'

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

It's not been a great morning for Al...

He's just told BBC Essex presenter Sadie Nine it has taken him two hours to travel from Tilbury Docks to the services at Thurrock.

If you're not familiar with that area, it's about seven miles.

"I've got to get over the bridge into Kent and back to Tilbury by 12:00... This is why I prefer being abroad, because you don't get this hassle," he said. 

Good luck Al.

Tilbury Docks/Thurrock Services
Getty Images/Google

Three lanes now open on the M25

Light at the end of the tunnel (or bridge)?

View more on twitter

Thurrock 'shuts down' whenever there's an accident on the M25

Reece called BBC Essex - he is stuck trying to get to Lakeside (for work, not pleasure).

Anyone who works around here will understand that once there is an accident the whole area just shuts down... I've got another four minutes before I start work, but thankfully I've told them that I'm going to be late".

ReeceBBC Essex caller

If you're stuck, share your journey with us (if it's safe and legal to do so) using #m25problems

An observation from a local resident...


Social media buzzing with unhappy M25 motorists


Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

If you do a quick search of the M25 on Twitter, you'll find a lot of unhappy people this morning venting their anger about the motorway...


Chris tweeted: "Miles of stationary traffic approaching Dartford crossing yet still so many people indulging in pointless and dangerous lane swapping".

Tofu Princess writes: "Mostly standstill traffic on the J28 clockwise exit on the #M25. I've been in traffic for 40 minutes since J27".

Charlie adds: "I swear all I do Monday - Friday is sit in traffic on the m25!"

Ellie-may said: "Working inside the M25 is nothing but hassle!!!"

Motorists advised to find 'alternative route'

It's probably no consolation if you're stuck in gridlocked traffic, but Highways England is advising you find an "alternative route" following the M25 crash in Kent this morning.

View more on twitter

Weather: Fine and dry with sunny spells

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

It's a bright but chilly start to the day. There will be plenty of sunshine around throughout, although cloud will gradually begin to increase through this afternoon.

Maximum temperature: 17C (63F).

You can get the latest forecast for your area at BBC Weather.

Traffic queuing for nine miles back to Essex following Kent crash

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Kent Police says it's currently on scene at J1a on the clockwise M25 because of a crash involving three lorries.

It happened at about 07:22 this morning. Motorists trying to leave Essex are currently facing a nine mile queue.

Busy morning on the roads affecting the Dartford Crossing, A414 and the A12

BBC Travel

It's a busy morning on the roads: 

  • Three lanes are closed on the M25 just over the border, clockwise at J1a. Congestion is back across the QE2 bridge to J29 for the A127 (Romford) 
  • The A414 is blocked in High Ongar in both directions between the King Street junction and the Rookery Road junction because of an accident involving four vehicles
  • One lane is blocked on the London-bound A12 around J21 for Witham South. Congestion is back to J25 for Marks Tey

You'll find live travel updates for the county here.

Three hours from Chelmsford to Kent last night

This photo was sent to us by BBC Essex's news editor Claire Sawyer, who was stuck at Dartford Crossing on her way home last night. 

She said she left Chelmsford at 19:30 and managed to arrive in Kent at 22:40.

Queues on the crossing last night
Claire Sawyer

Sadly for Claire, and anybody else heading to Kent, there's another accident this morning just over the border on the M25, which is causing congestion across the QE2 Bridge. Regular updates here.

Two problems caused major delays on the Dartford Crossing yesterday

It wasn't the best of days to be travelling between Essex and Kent yesterday.

Air view of the delays yesterday
Simon Moores

In the morning, there were miles of queues (pictured) and hours of delays coming into our county after a safety system failed following engineering work at Dartford Crossing.

Then, if you were trying to leave Essex last night at about 20:00, a road crash on the QE2 Bridge closed the crossing for some time, with a woman having to be cut from her car. We haven't yet had an update on her condition from the ambulance service.

Good morning

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Hello all, welcome to Essex Live. 

We start this morning with some news that came into us overnight - a woman had to be cut free from her car after a crash on the QE2 Bridge.

More on that shortly, plus the latest weather forecast and the rest of the day's news too.