Three people have died and two drivers have been arrested after a serious collision involving a lorry, a minibus and a car on the M25 in Essex.
A fourth person is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after the crash, which occurred near Waltham Abbey around 6.15pm on Monday and caused lengthy traffic delays.
Here’s what happened and how the police have responded.
How did it happen?
Essex Police said in a statement the collision occurred between junctions 27 and 26 of the M25 anti-clockwise carriageway.
The road was closed for some 11 hours before reopening on Tuesday morning (August 24).
Highways England tweeted soon after 5am that the road had been cleared.
Little is known yet about how the incident happened but Parv Domah was among those caught up in the traffic tailbacks near junction 26.
He told the PA news agency he had been on the scene for three hours.
He said: “There were approximately 30 emergency vehicles that drove past in that time, as well as two air ambulances.
“Traffic was stopped on both sides of the carriageway at one point.”
Has anyone been arrested?
Two drivers have been arrested on suspicion of causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.
What have the police said?
Police added they were eager to trace the movements of all three vehicles – a Ford Mondeo, a minibus and a lorry – leading up to the collision.
Detective Sergeant Steve Holmes, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This evening has been incredibly challenging and we are continuing to work as quickly as we can to piece together exactly what led to this tragic incident.
“My thoughts, and those of all officers on scene are with the families of those who lost their lives this evening.
“At present, two drivers have been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
“I need anyone with further information to come forward.”
Emergency services have also thanked motorists for their patience in the face of delays of several hours due to the collision, which was attended by nine ambulances, two air ambulances, several police vehicles plus fire engines from Brentwood, Loughton, Waltham Abbey and Epping.
Police are now urging witnesses with dashcam footage to submit a report at https://www.essex.police.uk, or call 101 citing incident 972 of Monday, August 23.