Earlier this morning, at around 7:15am during a bout of heavy fog, scores of cars collided with each other provoking a series of pileups and a scene that was described by one driver Martin Stammers as ‘horrendous’.
Witnesses described masses of tangled cars and lorries, people lying on the floor and car transporters crumpled into other vehicles. Some reports say the crash lasted 10 minutes as the blind drivers continued to collide with the ever-growing mess of cars. Visibility was only 10 to 20 yards.
Image via Twitter @DavidJohns_ITV
There were no fatalities reported but at least eight drivers have been seriously injured and 60 people were hurt.
A spokeswoman for Kent police said: “At the moment there are no reports of fatalities but obviously we have a lot of vehicles there and there could be people trapped.”
The seriousness of this event was underlined by Kent fire and rescue services who said in a statement: “There are no fatalities but ambulance crews are dealing with a large number of walking wounded casualties. Firefighters have used hydraulic cutting equipment to release five people from their vehicles.”
Image via Twitter @Jay_Stammers
As the morning sun burned off the fog the scale of chaos became visible. On one carriageway was a long procession of mangled vehicles and dizzy survivors, while on the other an army of paramedics, ambulances and fire engines were springing to their assistance. Kent authorities have closed the crossing, potentially for the whole day, and will begin an investigation into the real causes of the incident.
Police have estimated that there were two major collisions; one on the bridge itself and the other on the Sheppey approach. The front of the crash happened where traffic flowed off the bridge towards Sittingbourne and it stretched all the way back in a domino effect to Queenborough – almost 6 miles.
The Sheppey crossing is a vast four-lane bridge that rises to a height of 35 metres and connects the Isle of Sheppey with mainland Kent. Police said that if people had to make the crossing they could use the old Kingsferry Bridge – but should expect long delays.
Main image via @tara_mulholland