Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Monday, 12 April 2010 17:47 UK

Delays after pigs trailer overturns on M4 in Wiltshire


The crash caused long delays on the M4

Thirteen pigs were killed and a number injured when an animal transporter overturned on the M4 in Wiltshire.

The accident happened on the westbound carriageway of the motorway between Leigh Delamere services and junction 18, the turn off for Bath, earlier.

The vehicle had been carrying more than 100 animals.

Police closed part of the motorway while the pigs were rounded up and injured ones were treated. The road has since reopened.

They will need to be rested, they will be looked at again to make sure there are no injuries developing

Graham Hibbert, Hale Veterinary Group

A Wiltshire Police spokesman said the animals were being transported in a double-decker lorry when the crash happened at about 1020 BST.

"A large number of the pigs fell out. Thirteen have died and a number were injured," he said.

"The remainder have been recovered into a second transporter.

"No other vehicle was involved and there have been no human casualties."

He said two vets were called to the scene to deal with the injured animals.

Main concern

The surviving pigs have been taken to a farm to recuperate.

Graham Hibbert, from Hale Veterinary Group, attended and said the main concern was making sure making sure the surviving pigs were fit to travel.

"They went off in the other lorry - they will need to be rested, they will be looked at again to make sure there are no injuries developing," he added.

"They will not have been fit for slaughter because of the stress so they'll be kept separately and looked after."

The M4 was closed at junction 17 and initially caused tailbacks of nearly 20 miles (32km). At about 1400 BST there were tailbacks of up to two miles (3km).

Two lanes of the westbound carriageway reopened at about 1500 BST and police said traffic had returned to normal just before 1700 BST.

Roof split

One witness, Tracy, who had been driving on the M4 and saw the crash scene, said: "We passed the lorry, it must have been just after it happened.

"There were about half a dozen pigs on the road trying to be ushered to the side to stop them running around.

"The lorry was on its side with its roof partially split open.

"There were dead pigs in the road and they were hosing it down and the traffic was horrific."

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