A six vehicle pile-up closed the M6 in Birmingham during the morning rush hour today.
At least seven people were injured when four light goods vehicles, a van and a car were involved in a collision just before 6am.
The pile-up meant police had to close the M6 both north and south between Junctions 6 at Spaghetti Junction and Junction 8 at Great Barr. The move led to long queues forming on surrounding motorways as traffic was taken off and siphoned onto other routes.
On the northbound carriageway, drivers were taken off at Junction 4 and diverted onto the M42, while those heading south were sent onto the M5. A spokesman for the Highways Agency said police had to close the motorway to allow ambulance and fire crews to deal with the casualties and to clear room for the air ambulance to land.
The accident happened at 5.45am on the southbound carriageway. The vehicles involved ploughed through the central reservation, smashing into traffic going north.
West Midlands Ambuance Service sent six ambulances, two rapid response and two incident support vehicles, two doctors and a senior manager.
They treated seven patients at the scene, with one believed to be in a serious condition. West Midlands Fire Service sent five crews from Aston, Perry Barr, Handsworth, West Bromwich and Walsall.
A spokeswoman said: “Because it was such a big incident we had crews on both the north and south bound carriageways.
“We had normal appliances on the scene which carry cutting gear, but also our major rescue unit and technical unit which carries equipment which is bigger and stronger.”
On the northbound carriageway, one light goods vehicle mounted the embankment and two people were trapped inside and needed to be cut free.
On the southbound, three light goods vehicles, a van and a car were involved, with one man trapped in one of the LGVs and another released from the van.