Huge chain-reaction crash in UK involves at least 100 vehicles

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NEW: Eight people are seriously hurt and another 200 suffer minor injuries, police say

At least 100 vehicles are caught up in a massive crash on a road bridge in Kent

The Sheppey Crossing is closed to traffic in both directions following the crash

London CNN  — 

At least 100 vehicles smashed into each other in a massive pile-up Thursday in England’s southeastern county of Kent, police said, injuring eight people seriously and leaving dozens with minor injuries.

The huge chain-reaction crash took place on a multi-lane bridge and highway that connects the Isle of Sheppey with mainland Kent, reportedly amid thick fog.

Video from the scene showed scores of abandoned cars and trucks, many crumpled from impacts with other vehicles. Motorists, some injured, sat on the roadside as they awaited help.

The Sheppey Crossing, on the A249 road, has been closed to traffic in both directions, Kent Police said.

More than 30 people were taken to the hospital, the local ambulance service said. In all, about 200 people received care for minor injuries or were given medical advice at the scene, it said.

“It’s horrific. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” local newspaper Kent Online quoted witness Martin Stammers, 45.

“All you could hear was cars crashing. We got out of our car and it was eerily quiet with visibility down to just 20 yards. Then you would hear the screeching of brakes and then a thud. It was all you could hear for about 10 minutes – crash after crash after crash.”

Several hours after the pile-up, the South East Coast Ambulance Service said many people were unable to leave the bridge because of the wrecked vehicles and were struggling with the heat on an unusually warm September day.

“The scale of this incident made our response very challenging,” said Chris Stamp, a senior operations manager. But, he added, crews had responded quickly to treat those needing help.

CNN’s Pierre Meilhan contributed to this report.