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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 18:14 GMT
Six killed in head-on collision
Minibus
Five men travelling in the minibus were killed
Six people have been killed and three seriously injured in a pile-up involving two lorries and a minibus near Grantham in Lincolnshire.

Five men in the minibus and a lorry driver died in the head-on collision on the A52 between Sedgebrook and Bottesford early on Tuesday.

According to police, the men in the minibus were of varying nationalities.

Police said they believed the minibus driver was trying to overtake two vehicles on the single carriageway.

The lorry driver who was killed was from the baking firm Hovis. A spokesman from the company said: "It is with deep regret we can confirm that our lorry driver was killed.

"Our thoughts are with his family and colleagues and also with the families of the other people involved in this tragic accident."

It's an horrific scene and all the emergency services are working together to gradually clear the scene
Ch Supt Dave Wheeler

Police said the minibus had overtaken an oil tanker and was attempting to pass a second lorry in front when he collided head-on with a third HGV, the Hovis driver.

A fourth heavy goods vehicle then went into the back of the Hovis lorry.

An air exclusion zone was imposed to stop media taking pictures of specialist officers removing the bodies from the area.

The bodies were to be transferred to a specially arranged mortuary at Leicester Royal Infirmary in preparation for post-mortem examinations, which are expected to take place on Wednesday.

Ch Supt Dave Wheeler, of Lincolnshire Police, described the scene as "horrific".

"It's a scene of carnage. We know there are six confirmed dead. At the moment we are trying to establish identity.

"The bodies are still in situ. It's an horrific scene and all the emergency services are working together to gradually clear the scene."

Graphic

Brian Thompson, the driver of a lorry involved in the crash, said: "I looked in my mirror and saw a lorry's headlights half way down the side of my trailer, and I thought to myself then, 'we got no chance here, something's got to go'.

"I [saw] a line of traffic coming towards me... with a little Transit or minibus leading a queue of a line of half a dozen vehicles, and I could see there was going to be something happening.

"So I grabbed my steering wheel and braced myself and heard the bang and crash and looked in my mirror and then there was red lights and white lights everywhere, and after that I don't really know what happened."

Five fire-engines with about 20 firefighters were sent to the scene by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue service.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue also sent a further three engines with about 15 firefighters.

Crash scene
The minibus was overtaking the tanker when the crash happened

Two of the three injured people taken to Grantham Hospital had been travelling in the minibus.

The A52 near Grantham is closed between the A46 and A1 in both directions and is expected to remain closed until 10pm tonight and motorists are being warned to expect delays.

Police urged witnesses to contact them on a hotline, 01522 55 88 55.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch a report on the details of the crash



SEE ALSO:
Three people die in lorry crash
05 Jan 06 |  Lincolnshire
Third minibus crash victim dies
30 Dec 05 |  Lincolnshire


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