Tragedy on the AP7 near Cox on Tuesday afternoon when eight people died in a collision between a van and a car.
The accident took place just before 5pm at Callosa de Segura y Granja de Rocamora, close to the Mos del Bou Industrial Park at Cox, when a truck containing plastic pipes, and heading in the direction of Murcia, is believed to have crossed the central reservation and collided with a minibus, van travelling in the direction of Alicante, head on.
At this stage eight people are known to have died, two children aged 6 and 7, as well as three men and three women, said to be of Romanian nationality, originating from the Andalucian town of Vera
Witnesses described the impact as ‘brutal’ with the two vehicles crashing over the roadside barriers and down the embankment, coming to rest in a storm water drainage ditch.
Even as the minibus was soaring through the air it burst into flames with the eight passengers still trapped inside.
The truck driver, who suffered serious multiple injuries, was found twenty yards from the crash site, although still has not been determined whether he moved from the scene of his own accord, in order to avoid the flames, or if he was thrown from his vehicle due to the impact of the collision.
Described as the most serious accident in the region the last eight years the scene was quickly attended by Bomberas, Traffic Police, a unit of SAMU and a BLS ambulance which moved. The truck driver to the Vega Baja Hospital in Orihuela.
Two lanes of the motorway in the direction of Alicante were closed as firefighters scrambled to extinguish the flames. A huge column of black smoke was visible over several kilometers.
As the flames were extinguished and they were able to close in on the vehicles the sights they witnessed were gruesome with many of the bodies said to be burnt beyond recognition.
Early inspection suggested two bodies were in the van but when the vehicle was moved, following the arrival of a heavy crane, at least three more bodies were found in the back.
A first inspection check that allowed inside the minibus had at least two bodies. However, the rescue services awaited the arrival of a heavy crane to lift the vehicle and burned to better inspect its interior. When the remains of the van were deposited on the shoulder it was confirmed that inside there were at least three more bodies that were in the back, according to confirmed sources of the Civil Guard.
Eventually the scene gave up the remains of eight bodies, three men, three women and two children, 6 and 7 years of age. The Guardia Civil said that all those dead were of Romanian nationality and belonging to two families.
Firefighters and officer from the Civil Guard worked at the scene late into the night as the horrific task of removing the bodies lasted several hours. Meanwhile, the truck driver was admitted to the Vega Baja Hospital in Orihuela in a serious condition where drug and alcohol tests carried out were confirmed to be negative.
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