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Specialist USAR Teams Mobilised to Assist at Scene of M4 HGV Horror Collision

In the aftermath of a devastating accident on the M4 near Chippenham, where a lorry overturned, leaving multiple individuals with life-changing injuries, specialist Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams have been called in to bolster emergency efforts and assist in the complex recovery operation.

The harrowing incident unfolded on the eastbound carriageway of the M4, specifically between junctions 18 (Bath) and 17 (Chippenham), at approximately 9:30 am today, Friday, October 20, 2023. The collision involved a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), as well as at least two other vehicles—a Mini and a Tesla.

The severity of the situation prompted an immediate and extensive response from emergency services. At least seven fire appliances, including a heavy rescue unit, were swiftly dispatched to the scene, representing the combined efforts of the Avon Fire and Rescue Service and the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

To address the critical medical needs of the injured, a significant medical response was also initiated. At least four ambulances, specialized Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) ambulance crews, and a Great Western Air Ambulance rapid response vehicle were deployed to provide advanced medical care and support.

Given the complex nature of the incident and the potential for casualties to be trapped or require specialized extraction, specialist Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) teams were called in to enhance the emergency response. These teams are highly trained and equipped to handle complex rescue scenarios, particularly in situations involving heavy vehicles or structural damage.

In light of the ongoing efforts to secure the scene and address the extensive challenges posed by the collision, the motorway has been closed in both directions. While the westbound carriageway may reopen later in the morning, the eastbound carriageway is anticipated to remain closed for most of the day.

Wiltshire Police have officially confirmed the incident, emphasizing the need for caution and avoidance of the affected area due to expected traffic disruptions. Authorities have also called on anyone with information related to the incident to contact the police at 101, quoting log number 93 of today.

As the investigation continues and recovery operations progress, the specialised USAR teams will play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and well-being of all those affected by this tragic M4 collision.

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