Police probe fireworks role in M5 carnage

 
Elizabeth Fournier
POLICE were last night investigating whether smoke from a local firework display could have caused the crash on the M5 motorway on Friday night that left seven people dead and injured more than 50.

Several eyewitnesses have reported seeing fog or black smoke on the stretch of road in Somerset where the accident happened, and police have said a bonfire and firework display held at nearby Taunton Rugby Club is a “major line of inquiry”.

The crash, between junction 24 and 25 of the southbound lane of the M5, involved 34 vehicles and caused a huge fireball as fuel from the cars and lorries was ignited.

The northbound side of the road was reopened last night along with two of the southbound lanes, with only the outside southbound lane remaining closed.

All the damaged vehicles have now been removed from the scene and the death toll is not expected to rise, though local hospitals are still treating many of those injured in the crash.

The seven people who died as a result of the pile-up have not yet been formally identified.