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A12 accident: Police search wreckage for more bodies after lorry falls from bridge and bursts into flames

The A12[1] remained partially closed on Friday as police revealed they were searching for more bodies after a lorry fell from a bridge and burst into flames. The HGV’s driver, a man in his 30s, was announced dead shortly after the incident in Essex on Wednesday afternoon. His vehicle veered off Colemans Bridge onto the southbound carriageway of the busy dual-carriageway in Witham at around 3.45pm.

Essex Police said today: “As there was extensive damage to the vehicle, work is also being carried out to ensure that there have been no other casualties as a result of the collision. “The trailer has been forensically recovered by the multi-agency response team and is being searched to ensure that there are no other fatalities.” The recovery operation has been complicated by a “large industrial-sized battery” on board the lorry which first needed to be made safe.

Motorists have been advised to avoid the southbound stretch between Marks Tey and Boreham at rush hour. Police said the road would be re-opened as soon as possible. Five crews from Essex Fire and Rescue, police officers and an air ambulance attended the scene for more than five hours on Wednesday.

Chloe Willis, 20, was in a car travelling to a hockey match with friends and “about five seconds away” from the accident.

lorryessex0802a.jpgCrash scene: Thick plumes of smoke were seen billowing across the carriageway ([email protected]_)

The psychology student said “black smoke covered the sky” as the lorry caught fire. She said: “We had to come to an emergency stop as soon as we saw this lorry turned on its side. “A big puff of black smoke covered the sky and all the people in cars started to panic.

“You could see where the barriers on the bridge had broken when the lorry had come through.” Joe McCallum, from Essex, arrived in his van on the other side of the carriageway immediately after the crash and said part of the lorry container was on fire. A photo he posted on Twitter showed a crumpled vehicle on the barriers of the carriageway below, spilling over into the road.

The 28-year-old van driver said he believed it was a lorry carrying frozen goods, but he could not see anything more due to its “mangled” state.

Essex Police appealed for drivers who may have witnessed the accident or have dash cam footage to contact the force on 101.

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  1. ^ A12 (www.standard.co.uk)
  2. ^ Reuse content (www.standard.co.uk)

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