Fatal M6 crash in Staffordshire kills two boys and woman

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Media captionThe M6 was closed in both directions for several hours after the crash

Two brothers, aged 4 and 10, and a 32-year-old woman have died following a crash on the M6 in Staffordshire.

Their car overturned on a northbound lane between junctions 14, near Stafford, and 15, near Stoke-on-Trent, about 11:25 GMT.

The driver, believed to be the boys' mother, and another woman in the car were seriously injured.

They were taken to hospital and were said by West Midlands Ambulance Service to be in a "stable" condition.

Staffordshire police appealed for witnesses to the incident, involving a red Ford Focus, to contact them.

Earlier, the ambulance service said three children had died.

In a revised statement a spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "Crews arrived to find a single vehicle that had crashed and overturned.

"Two children and an adult that were travelling in the vehicle suffered serious injuries. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of ambulance crews, nothing could be done to save the two boys and one woman, and they were confirmed dead at the scene.

"Two other adult women travelling in the car, both received emergency treatment at the scene for their injuries and were transferred by land ambulances to University Hospital of North Staffordshire on blue lights for further treatment."

The northbound stretch of M6 was shut for several hours.

Three ambulances, three paramedic officers, a doctor and two Midland Air Ambulances attended the scene.

'Difficult circumstances'

Staffordshire Police had initially said "several vehicles" had been involved, causing "multiple fatalities", but later confirmed it was a one-vehicle crash.

The ambulance service added: "All emergency services personnel worked seamlessly together at the scene in exceptionally difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, the outcome was not the one everyone would have hoped for."

Image caption The M6 northbound was closed after the accident but re-opened before 16:45 GMT

The southbound section of the motorway was initially closed but re-opened mid-afternoon.

The M6 is among a number of key routes that have been struck by weather-related delays in recent days amid heavy rain.

Earlier in Hampshire, two people were killed in a car crash, police said.

The collision happened on the B3349, Odiham Road, near Basingstoke, and police were notified at about 10:05 GMT.

A third person, believed to be the driver of the vehicle, was seriously injured.