At least 7 killed in 34-car pileup on UK highway

LONDON - November 6, 2011

The crash on Friday night involved explosions, and cars and tractor trailers burning "literally to the ground," Assistant Chief Constable Anthony Bangham told reporters. Police expect the death toll to rise and they fear they may find more bodies in the wreckage, he said.

Bangham says witnesses had reported dense smoke that made driving almost impossible at the scene of Friday's collision on the highway in southwestern England.

Video footage shown on British news channels showed large balls of fire consuming trucks, and billowing smoke at the scene.

Road accidents of this scale are rare in Britain, and rescuers have described the pile-up as one of the worst in living memory.

Bangham said Sunday police are now investigating a fireworks show that took place around the time of the fatal crash. The fireworks display was one of many organized over the weekend to mark Guy Fawkes Day, an annual commemoration of the English revolutionary who tried to blow up Parliament in the 17th century.

Police say they have finished removing all vehicles from the highway in Somerset, but roads have not yet reopened.

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