The pile-up occurred as a large group of around 20 supercars was travelling for a Sunday drive in convoy in wet conditions. The leader of the pack, a Ferrari, slid and hit the guardrail of the Chugoku Expressway, spinning out of control and causing seven other Ferraris, a Lamborghini and a passing Toyota Prius to collide.

It was indicated that the group may have been heading towards a gathering of supercars was taking place in Hiroshima. Some witnesses claimed the cars were travelling at speeds of up to 100mph – around double the legal speed limit in the area. The crash is alleged to have cost 300 million yen – around £2.6 million.

 “I’ve never seen such a thing. Ferraris rarely travel in such large numbers.” said Eiichiro Kamitani, a police highway patrolman, speaking to AFP.

The man who caused the accident could well face up to three months in jail. Ten drivers were injured in the crash and clearing away the previously very valuable highway wreckage took more than six hours.

The unfortunate group was labelled “a gathering of narcissists.” by Mitsuyoshi Isejima, exec. officer of the local traffic police.

Main photographs: YOMIURI SHIMBUN/AFP/Getty Images