Leeds & West Yorkshire

Woman on hen party dies as 20 injured in crash on M62

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Media captionThe woman who died was part of a hen party from South Elmsall

A woman travelling to a hen party has died and 20 people injured in a crash on the westbound carriageway of the M62 in West Yorkshire.

A major incident was declared after the collision between a lorry and a minibus near junction 32 at 11:30 BST.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service said 21 people were in the minibus. The driver of the lorry has been arrested.

The Highways Agency said the westbound carriageway has reopened after being closed following the accident.

Image caption Yorkshire Ambulance Service said it had put its major incident procedures in place

The women, seven of whom are seriously injured, were travelling to a hen party in Liverpool in a minibus from South Elmsall near Wakefield, said West Yorkshire Police.

Dave Walton, from West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said crews from five stations attended the scene and found the minibus on its side.

"Some officers said it was the worst they had seen for a number of years," he said.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service said it had put major incident procedures in place following the collision.

Dr David Macklin, from the ambulance service, said crews were quickly on the scene and a number of bystanders also joined in the rescue operation.

"It was very difficult. We had to identify serious or life-threatening injuries and then the walking wounded," he said.

One motorist, Pritpal Singh, 28, from Leeds, saw the immediate aftermath of the accident.

"I was going in the same direction as the accident, the westbound carriageway. It was effectively gridlocked from 11.30am onwards.

"By noon everyone had shut off their engines and started walking around on the road.

"I was about a third of a mile back from where the accident was, I got out and walked up to the scene."

The minibus was on its side and was severely damaged, said Mr Singh.

Six air ambulances

Patients were treated at the scene before being taken to hospitals including Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield and Leeds General Infirmary.

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Media captionEmergency services described the M62 crash scene as the "worst in years"

At one stage six air ambulances were also at the scene, Great North Air Ambulance (GNAA) confirmed.

Kevin Hodgson, GNAA director of operations, said the service had sent two air ambulances, which were joined by two from North West Air Ambulance and another two from Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance.

One helicopter took a casualty to Leeds General Infirmary, while another flew to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough with a patient on board.

Ch Insp Mark Bownass, of West Yorkshire Police, said family liaison officers were now helping the victim's family.

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