Essex update: M11 will be partially closed until 3am after multi-vehicle pile-up

The M11 will be partially closed until 3am while extensive resurfacing work takes place following an earlier crash between four lorries, four cars and a coach.

The southbound carriageway of the road was fully reopened at 6.30pm today, but drivers will not be able to use the northbound side until at least 3am as a serious diesel spill from the crash earlier today has forced roads officers to completely resurface the road.

A woman is this evening in a life-threatening condition at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge after being rescued from a coach which was involved in the pile-up.

This comes after a multi-vehicle smash at 10am today on the northbound M11 between junction 8 for Bishops Stortford and junction 10 for Duxford, causing huge traffic queues for airline passengers travelling to and from Stansted Airport.

Firefighters rescued two casualties from the wreckage of the coach – a woman and a man both believed to be “elderly”, who both suffered fractured legs. They were taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital by land ambulance but Essex Police have this evening confirmed the woman is now in what has been described as a “life-threatening condition”.

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A man and a woman in their 60s, plus a third person, all travelling in separate cars, were also taken to Addenbrooke’s by land ambulances suffering minor neck and back pains.

An ambulance service spokeswoman said: “We would like to praise our control room staff and crews, as well as those from the other emergency services, for working so well in difficult circumstances.”

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Four land ambulances, a rapid response vehicle and an air ambulance attended as well as an officer to manage the incident on behalf of the East of England Ambulance Service.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “The northbound carriageway of the M11 was fully closed while road collision investigators and commercial vehicle specialists from Essex Police carried out an initial investigation. It is hoped that some lanes will re-open within the next two hours depending on necessary repairs.

“The southbound carriageway has also been fully closed but it is hoped some lanes will be re-opened soon.”

Chief Inspector Scott Egerton said: “All agencies are working hard to have the carriageways open as quickly as possible but some lanes may remain closed for repairs to the road surface and the central reservation barrier.

“There are still lengthy delays in both directions and we would urge drivers to seek alternative routes, especially through the evening rush hour.”

Officers are asking anyone who witnessed the crash to contact the Roads Policing Unit on 0300 333 4444.

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