Three people have been killed while two have been rushed to hospital with injuries after a heavy goods lorry smashed into four cars and and exploded on the A1 motorway, Durham Constabulary has said this afternoon.
Police said a man who was driving a Toyota Hilux and a man and a woman who were in a Vauxhall Crossland died after the horrific crash last night on the northbound carriageway of the A1(M) between Bradbury and Carville in County Durham, which remains closed.
Several others were injured in the collision, with two requiring treatment at University of North Durham Hospital. One of the lorry drivers, 41, has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remains in police custody.
A spokesman for Durham Constabulary said formal identification is expected to take some time, though their families have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.
Highways England is asking drivers to avoid the area and allow extra time for their journeys.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Detective Superintendent Dave Ashton, who is leading the investigation, said: 'This was a harrowing incident for everyone involved and our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have lost their loved ones.
This is the shocking scene after a truck crossed the central reservation of the A1(M) outside Durham around 6.20pm last night
Several cars were badly damaged while a section of the central reservation was destroyed by the truck
The A1(M) has been closed in both directions while emergency services work at the scene
The A1(M) near Durham, which remains closed to traffic today following a crash last night
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The crash happened on the A1(M) north of Bradbury in County Durham last night
'It has been incredibly upsetting and distressing for those who witnessed the collision, and for the emergency responders, including police officers, firefighters and paramedics, who attended the scene.
'We would therefore ask that people refrain from sharing photographs and videos from the collision out of dignity and respect for those who have lost their lives.
'This will be an extremely complex and lengthy investigation as