Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Up to 40 vehicles crash on bypass

Car in the central reservation (pictures from Dorset Fire and Rescue Service)
Twenty drivers were taken to an emergency welfare centre

Up to 40 vehicles crashed on the A35 in Dorset due to black ice on Wednesday.

A series of accidents happened on the A35 Puddletown bypass, where cars and heavy goods vehicles hit verges and the central reservation during the morning.

Fire crews assisted paramedics in treating 35 casualties and a total of 22 vehicles were recovered from the scene, Dorset Police said.

Two people were taken to hospital with injuries following dramatic scenes which closed the A35 until midday.

Dorset Police said the road had reopened in both directions although motorists were later urged to take care.

Bere Regis Fire Station opened its doors as an emergency welfare centre for all stranded drivers.

Twenty people were ferried to the centre by coach and two casualties were taken to Dorset County Hospital by ambulance after suffering injuries.

Cut free

Fire crews from Christchurch had been called to another section of the A35 at about 0600 GMT after a collision between a van, coach and two cars after the van slid on ice.

Two people were also cut free from their cars and taken to hospital after a four-vehicle crash between Poole Fire Station roundabout and Upton at about 0750 GMT.

The A338 Bournemouth Spur Road was closed until 1000 GMT in both directions after a crash at the Cooper Dean Roundabout.

Meanwhile, Portland Coastguard teamed up with the South West Ambulance Service and transported paramedics in 4x4 vehicles due to icy conditions across the county.

South West Ambulance Service reported just under 100 calls an hour, an increase of 46% on the usual demand for its service.

On Wednesday evening, Cross Country trains between Bournemouth and Reading were subject to delays because of bad weather Bournemouth.

Dorset County Council advised residents to check for updates on its website.

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This is Devon Thousands hit by road chaos - 7 hrs ago
Dorset Echo A35 PILE-UP: 35 cars in crash on Puddletown bypass - 15 hrs ago
Mail Online UK Big Freeze death toll rises as police warn drivers: Postpone your Christmas to save lives - 18 hrs ago
Heart Radio Dorset 35 Car Pile-Up - 20 hrs ago
Western Gazette 40-car pile-up on A35 stretches 999 crews - 22 hrs ago

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