Two women die in five-vehicle pile-up on M4 as Storm Babet brings travel chaos to Britain
Police confirm two people have died in the crash near Chippenham, which also involved an HGV
Two women have tragically died after a five-vehicle pile-up which saw a lorry overturn on the M4.
Four cars and an HGV were involved in the collision on the eastbound carriageway between junction 17 for Chippenham and junction 18 for Bath at approximately 9.10am on Friday.
Two women travelling in one of the vehicles were pronounced dead at the scene, Wiltshire Police said.
Two other people involved in the collision sustained minor injuries and were treated by paramedics.
The M4 was fully closed at junction 18 eastbound and junction 17 westbound to allow emergency services to carry out recovery and investigative work.
One lane on the westbound carriageway has since reopened.
Acting Inspector Will Ayres of Wiltshire Police said: ‘Due to the seriousness of the collision and the vehicles involved, the recovery work and investigation at the scene is likely to take a significant time and therefore the eastbound side of the motorway will remain closed well in to this evening.’
‘We have opened one lane of the westbound carriageway, however there are currently a number of emergency service vehicles still occupying that carriageway.
Once these are cleared we will fully reopen this side of the motorway.’
The cause of the crash has not yet been revealed by police.
It came on a day of travel chaos across Britain as Storm Babet brought torrential rain, flooding and high winds to large parts of the country.
The storm, which swept in from the Atlantic earlier this week and has forced the Met Office to issue rare red weather alerts warning of a ‘danger to life’, has already claimed three lives.
A woman died in Scotland on Thursday after she was tragically swept into raging waters in Angus, while today a second person was confirmed dead after a tree struck a van on the B9127 at Whigstreet near Forfar.
Later, it emerged a man had died after getting caught in fast-flowing flood water in the town of Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire.
He was the storm’s third victim.
In parts of the midlands, northern England and Scotland there were flash floods caused by the deluge, leaving cars submerged underwater and forcing people to scramble to safety.
There were terrifying scenes as terrified children filmed the moment water poured into their double-decker schoolbus.
Channel 5’s Dan Walker was among those caught up in the storm as he was forced to edge through deep flood water in his car.
The TV presenter posted footage on Twitter of his car surrounded by water in Chesterfield as he tried to get to Channel 5’s studio.
He said: ‘Trains cancelled, trying to get to the @5_News studio by car but I’ve already seen 3 vehicles half-submerged in water and this is the main road through Chesterfield’.
There were also dramatic scenes at Leeds Bradford Airport when a TUI plane skidded off the runway amid high winds and torrential rain.
Conclusion: This article reports on two tragic deaths in a five-vehicle pile-up on the M4.
It also highlights the travel chaos caused by Storm Babet across Britain.