M11: Two dead after coach and lorry collide
Two people have died after a lorry and a coach carrying 49 passengers collided on the M11 near Stansted Airport in the early hours of today.
The incident happened on the southbound carriageway between junctions 8 - 9 at 2.30am.
The driver of the lorry and a passenger on the coach have died.
Three coach passengers have been admitted to hospital and are being treated for back injuries, the severity of which is being established.
Other passengers were taken to hospital as a precaution and have been released.
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A company coach has taken passengers to their homes or other destinations.
When fire crews arrived at the scene they found a lorry was on its side down an embankment with the driver trapped and the coach was upright on the hard shoulder of the motorway with severe damage to its side and rear.
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One person - an elderly woman - was trapped on the coach.
Four people were immediately taken to hospital by Ambulance with others carrying cuts and bruises and other minor injuries or shock later transferred to the nearby Princess Alexander Hospital by bus, both for treatment and to be checked over.
As a result of the incident he motorway is closed between junction 9 at Gt Chesterford and junction 8 at Birchanger (Stansted Airport) on the southbound (London) carriageway and it is likely to remain closed for some considerable time.
Motorists are advised to make alternative plans especially if they are heading to the airport.
Any witnesses to the coach crash should contact Essex Police on 0300 333 4444.
The Northbound carriageway is in the process of reopening now, the Southbound should take until approximately 3pm or 3.30pm to be reopened.
It is hoped that one lane Southbound will be re-opened earlier.