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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2007, 19:17 GMT 20:17 UK
Chicken lorry crash causes chaos
Loose chickens at the accident scene
The crash caused chaos across the central belt
Major roads in central Scotland were brought to a standstill after a lorry containing 1,800 chickens crashed on the A80, leaving birds running loose.

The lorry jack-knifed on the southbound carriageway, near Haggs, at 0430 BST, leaving the 45-year-old driver with serious back injuries.

Central Scotland Police said about 400 chickens were killed in the incident.

The road, which serves as a main route to Glasgow, Stirling, Perth and Dundee, was reopened by police at 1245 BST.

The birds were being transported by Noble Foods from a farm in Perthshire to an abattoir at Gainsborough in Lincolnshire when the crash happened.

It took police and specialist chicken handlers from Noble Foods nearly nine hours to clear the scene as hundreds of the birds ran free in the accident area.

Ch Insp Donald McMillan said: "Around 400 chicken carcasses have been cleared from the scene and the road has now reopened.

'Strategic route'

"A team from Bear Scotland have also been in attendance to ensure the road is clear of debris.

"This is a main strategic route for the area and the incident this morning did cause a lot of disruption but we expect traffic will be back to normal within half an hour."

The road closure caused chaos for motorists across the Forth Valley, with severe tailbacks on the M9 northbound Kinnaird to Pirnhall route.

Chickens being rounded up

A spokesman for Noble Foods said: "This is a very unfortunate accident, however our first priority is to ensure the driver's welfare and recovery and then deal with the chickens in the most humane way possible.

"All the live birds have been rounded up and are going to be directed to a local Scottish abattoir to minimise any further delays."

The Scottish SPCA said it had concerns for the welfare of the chickens.

Speaking during the incident, motorist Tony Collins, from Cumbernauld, said: "There are boxes all over the carriageway and there were still a few chickens running around the embankment."

Police had appealed to motorists on the north bound carriageway not to slow down to watch the recovery operation and to refrain from taking photographs while driving.

The police added that they would like to remind drivers that using a mobile phone while driving is illegal.

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