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UK Pile-Up of 100-Plus Cars on Bridge Leaves Uncertain Toll

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By Alexandra Ward   |   Thursday, 05 Sep 2013 01:42 PM

The death and injury tolls at this point are unclear but what's certain is that a massive pile-up involving around 100 cars closed a U.K. bridge Thursday.

News reports differed on the number of cars involved, number of casualties, and number of injuries in the accident. The Washington Times reported that two people had died and about 100 were injured in a 200-car pile-up on New Kingsferry Bridge in Sheppey, which is located in the southeast English county of Kent.

Yet, The Daily Telegraph quoted Kent Police Chief Inspector Andy Reeves as saying, "From my perspective, it's truly miraculous. It's very fortunate there were no fatalities."

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That report also claimed that eight people were seriously injured in the 100-car pile-up, and 33 were hospitalized with minor injuries.

Meanwhile, the BBC reported that a 130-car pile-up had injured "dozens." 

Either way, the U.K. pile-up was traumatic for all involved.

"It's horrific. I've never seen anything like it in my life," driver Martin Stammers, 45, told The Telegraph. "All you could hear was the screeching of car tires and the thudding, which was endless. It must have been going on for five to 10 minutes. You could hear the screeching, you could hear the lorries thudding into cars, you could hear glass breaking, there was nothing we could do. Even after the police turned up, you still heard further down the bridge — a quarter of a mile, half a mile away — cars still going into the back of each other."

Thick fog is thought to have been a factor in the domino-effect accident.

"It was very hazardous," Reeves said. "It was described to me as a very thick fog and it was certainly low visibility at the time."

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