1. ITV Report

130 cars in huge pile-up New Sheppey Crossing bridge in Kent after thick fog

Emergency services swarm across the bridge after the crash. Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Police have re-opened the A249 in Kent after about 130 vehicles were involved in a pile-up in misty conditions on the New Sheppey Crossing bridge - the largest ever fog-related crash in Britain. Eight people were seriously injured but there were no fatalities.

ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers reports:

Chief Inspector Andy Reeves from Kent Police said he had never seen such a crash in 20 years. "From my perspective, it's truly miraculous. It's very fortunate there were no fatalities."

Experts said it was 'amazing' more people were not hurt and that no-one was killed in the pile-up. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Neil Greig, policy and research director at the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) also spoke of his surprise at the lack of fatalities saying: "It is amazing that the same time it is also not the biggest in terms of people killed."

What seems to have happened today is that people were very lucky that the speeds were lower and there were not many HGVs in the crash.There will have been good driving among all this but there will also have been some bad driving...The key thing will be to find out what caused the traffic to stop .

The bridge links the Isle of Sheppey to Kent. Credit: ITV News

Drivers involved are likely to be out of pocket as they faced paying the first £200 to £300 in accident claims, the president of AA said.

Edmund King suggested that "stupid driving" from some, who could well have been travelling far too close to the vehicle in front and not using their fog lights, was a potential cause.

It's really bad to travel too close to the car in front in good conditions and if you do it in foggy conditions it's an absolute recipe for disaster. In dense fog you cannot see the brake lights ahead. By law, you don't have to have fog lights on, although it's recommended.

Many people could be out of pocket following the accident as their insurance policies could require them to pay the first £200 to £300 of a claim for a shunt-like crash.

The pile-up closed the bridge in both directions for hours after traffic covered almost its entire length. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Conservative MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey Gordon Henderson has said he would be talking to the authorities after the crash saying he had concerns about the design of the new bridge's lighting.