Kent

Sheppey crossing pile-up 999 calls revealed

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Media captionMore than 100 vehicles were in the crash on the bridge

Desperate 999 calls made by passengers caught in a huge pile-up involving more than 100 vehicles in Kent have been heard for the first time.

The accident, on the A249 Sheppey crossing, left 200 people injured and others trapped.

In the emergency calls, frantic drivers describe how the crash unfolded, with people trying to help the injured.

The calls have been released as part of a TV documentary about the pile-up, which happened on 5 September 2013.

Foggy weather and motorists driving at excessive speed were blamed for the crash.

Emergency services later said it was a "miracle" no-one was killed.

It led to calls for greater safety measures on the bridge, including a hard shoulder, speed limits and improved lighting.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Witnesses at the scene described a mass of tangled cars

Driver Graham Thwaites's leg was broken in four places after he was hit by a van, and surgeons had to work fast to save it.

He said described how the fog got "worse and worse" before the crash unfolded.

"I can remember approaching the bridge at the time feeling quite apprehensive and then quite frightened.

"I remember seeing my foot right up to my left side, and I can remember saying 'I've lost my leg'."

Van driver Phil Deverson described climbing out of his vehicle with a sickening feeling, thinking "somebody's got to be dead here or smashed to pieces".

Image copyright Duncan Barriers
Image caption Graham Thwaites described the thick fog

A major incident was declared and hospitals cancelled planned procedures to prepare for arrivals.

For the ITV documentary, Kent Fire and Rescue Service are recreating the incident, to demonstrate how it happened.

The service's assistant director Martin Adams said: "We felt it would be an ideal opportunity to demonstrate that any one of us can get caught up in an accident on the roads.

"But more importantly, how incidents of this nature can be prevented."

After the crash, 32 drivers who could have been prosecuted were offered safety sessions to improve their alertness instead.

Crash: Anatomy of an Accident will be shown on 10 May at 21:00 BST on ITV.

Image copyright Duncan Barriers
Image caption A major incident was declared

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