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Six people dead in ‘horrific’ crash

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Posted on : December 18, 2017

Image copyright PA
Image caption A taxi driver and two passengers were among those killed

Six people have been killed in a “horrific” crash in Birmingham.

Three vehicles were involved in the accident on Belgrave Middleway, near Edgbaston, at about 01:00 GMT.

Three men in one car died at the scene and a fourth is critically injured in hospital. The driver of a taxi and his two passengers were also killed.

West Midlands Police described the scene as “very difficult and upsetting” and said officers were investigating how the crash happened.

The road has been closed and police have appealed for witnesses.

The first car in the crash had suffered extensive damage but, “astonishingly”, the man and the woman inside managed to get out with relatively minor injuries, an ambulance service spokesman said.

“The second vehicle, a black cab, was on its side. Sadly, there was nothing that could be done to save the driver and he was confirmed dead at the scene.”

The female passenger was also confirmed dead at the scene, while her male companion was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he died.

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Media captionOfficers were dealing with “a very harrowing scene”, Supt Sean Phillips said

There were four men in the third car, and all had been thrown from the vehicle, the ambulance spokesman said.

“Tragically, three of them were confirmed dead at the scene.”

The fourth was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and is in a critical condition.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police are working to reopen Belgrave and Lee Bank Middleway by Monday morning

Three other cars were caught up in the crash and suffered minor damage trying to avoid it.

Michelle Brotherton, from the ambulance service, said her staff had dealt with 13 patients in total.

As well as those who died and the man in a critical condition, four people were taken to Heartlands Hospital where their condition is believed to be non-life threatening.

A further two patients were “discharged on scene”.

Road gritted

Supt Sean Phillips said the police officer in charge of the investigation had described it as a “very harrowing scene”.

He said it was “too early” to speculate on the cause of the accident.

“It will take some time to unpick and just understand exactly what’s happened. It would be unfair for me to speculate at this time,” he said.

He confirmed the road had been gritted at 17:00 GMT the previous evening.

At the scene: Riyah Collins, BBC West Midlands

Metres of police cordon tape and a number of vehicles have been used to seal off the road, and blue forensic tents can be seen below in the underpass.

The cordon stretches at least 100 metres either side of the Middleway and I can see numerous police officers.

As locals find out what happened, they all say how tragic it is that six people should die so close to Christmas.

It is not yet known what caused the crash, but locals are telling me there has long been a problem with speeding and racing on this road and the adjoining Bristol Street.

A car involved in a separate crash nearby just a week ago is still on the side of the road.

The accident happened below the underpass on the A38/Bristol Road, where Belgrave Middleway meets Lee Bank Middleway.

The stretch of road from Islington Row to Bristol Street has been closed and is likely to remain so throughout Sunday, police said.

Image caption Blue tents can be seen where forensic teams are working
Image copyright PA
Image caption Three vehicles suffered minor damage trying to avoid the three cars caught up in the crash

One resident who lives opposite said she woke at about 02:00 and saw the emergency crews.

“This road is really dangerous. Young kids like to challenge themselves and go really fast,” she said.

“I can’t believe six people have died, and so close to Christmas and New Year. It’s shocking.”

The road has two lanes either side and a 40mph speed limit.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police have said it “will take some time to unpick” what caused the crash

Area Commander Jason Campbell, of West Midlands Fire Service, described it as a “horrific” incident.

He said the crash site was complex and “spread over some distance”.

Any witnesses to the crash have been asked to contact West Midlands Police.

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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-42383464

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