Series of collisions shocks eastern England
60 casualties, 130 vehicles involved. A huge series of crashes caused disruption to the Isle of Sheppey, off the coast of Kent, in the east of England. Since 2006 the island has been connected to the mainland by a bridge 1.25 kilometres long and 35 metres high at its highest point. A major contributing factor in this horrendous collision was the fog, which had reduced visibility to little more than 15 metres. Drivers leaving the bridge towards the mainland along the A249 hit a wall of fog and, once the collisions had started, they then found twisted vehicles filling the carriageway.
Over 200 motorists were involved according to the South East Coast Ambulance Service: 35 needed hospital treatment. According to the fire service, 5 motorists had to be cut out of the remains of their vehicles and transported to the A&E departments of hospitals in Medway, Ashford, Margate, Maidstone, Canterbury and London. The Medway Maritime Hospital, which was the nearest to the scene of the pile-up, declared a major incident and cancelled all its routine planned surgery, to help deal with the incident. Witnesses speak of an unstoppable series of collisions: when the fog lifted, the road was littered with a tangled mass of cars, vans and lorries. The bridge was reopened to traffic nine hours after the incident.