Scores of people have been feared dead following a multiple car accident on A1 road in Durham.
The crash which involved a lorry had smashed into the central reservation and exploded.
Two HGVs and several cars were involved in the collision on the A1 in County Durham.
Several people could be seen at the crash scene in the immediate aftermath before emergency services arrived, including several Army personnel.
Police confirmed that there were fatalities but have not yet said how many.
The road, between Bowburn and Caville, was expected to be closed for several hours while 999 crews dealt with the situation.
The ambulance service also warned that there would be delays for other calls because they had diverted resources to the scene.
A Great North Air Ambulance was also drafted in to help treat ‘multiple casualties.
Other drivers with dashcams were also being asked to hand over any footage they may have.
A police spokesperson said: ‘Emergency services are currently on the scene of a serious collision on the A1(M).
‘The incident happened at 6w.20pm today on the northbound carriageway at Bowburn.
‘It involved several vehicles, including two lorries, one of which caught fire as a result of the collision. Sadly, there appear to have been fatalities.’
The motorway is expected to remain closed in both directions ‘for several hours’ while emergency teams work at the scene.
Officers have appealed for motorists to hand over any dashcam footage of the crash.
An ambulance spokesman said: ‘Other patients in the area may experience a delay in us reaching them and we urge anyone waiting for an ambulance to please bear with us and not call us back unless your condition worsens in case your call prevents someone who needs our help from getting through.’
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