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Last Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008, 16:00 GMT
Inquest opens into M1 tank crash
M1 crash
The victims had "very little" chance of avoiding the crash
Five people were killed when a transporter carrying mini army tanks crashed through the M1's central barrier, an inquest has heard.

The crash happened when a red Honda Civic collided with the back of the transporter, sending it through the barrier on 11 June 2003.

The mini tanks came loose near junction 19 on the M1 in Leicestershire.

A crash investigator told Leicester Coroner's Court the victims had "very little" chance of avoiding the crash.

The transporter was travelling from Marchwood Docks in Hampshire, carrying the mini tanks - known as CVRT9s - which each weigh about eight tonnes.

Vehicles crushed

One of the army vehicles landed on top of and crushed a Mercedes Sprinter van, killing Paul Evans, 37 and Craig Mears, 33, who were both decorators from Great Wyrley, Staffordshire and lifelong friends.

Another tank hit a van in which Daniel Bradley, 21, from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, was a passenger. He was also killed.

Wayne Buckley, 44, from Osett in West Yorkshire, was travelling in a Vauxhall Vivaro van when it was crushed by the transporter's trailer.

Chris Green, 29, from Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, was driving his Citroen van when it was hit by the transporter's tractor unit.

Up to 60 emergency teams were involved in cutting survivors from the wreckage, airlifting two people to hospital in Birmingham and taking a further six to the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The inquest continues.

Friends killed in motorway crash
12 Jun 03 |  Staffordshire
Crash motorway reopens
12 Jun 03 |  Leicestershire
'Carnage' on the motorway
11 Jun 03 |  Leicestershire

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