UPDATE: Pictures of escaped pigs after lorry crash on the M11 in Essex
THE emergency services and RSPCA used riot shields to round up runaway pigs on the southbound carriageway of the M11 in Essex this morning (December 30). Fire crews were initially called to a road traffic accident involving a lorry carrying livestock on t
THE emergency services and RSPCA used riot shields to round up runaway pigs on the southbound carriageway of the M11 in Essex this morning (December 30).
Fire crews were initially called to a road traffic accident involving a lorry carrying livestock on the motorway between Stansted Airport and Harlow at 4.45am. They were informed that the driver of the vehicle was trapped, but on arrival at the scene they found he had already escaped from the lorry, which was carrying a consignment of 82 pigs.
Around a dozen animals had escaped following the accident and were running free on the southbound carriageway. The others were still trapped in the lorry.
Firefighters called for back up from Essex Police and Highways Agency and at 5.21am, the Highways Agency closed the southbound M11 at junction 8 (Stansted Airport).
The road is likely to remain shut all morning while recovery work and repairs to the central reservation continue.
The northbound carriageway was also closed and could remain shut for about two hours because of fears that that the pigs could be a danger to road users.
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Police officers together with Highways Agency staff and RSPCA inspectors were involved in rounding up the stray pigs and a vet has been called to supervise the removal of the trapped animals most of which weigh around 20st.
The animals are being secured in a makeshift pen on the motorway embankment. A vet was also called as one pig appeared to have injuries to its back and there were others with unknown injuries. There are an unconfirmed number of dead animals and fire crews are awaiting the arrival of a livestock recovery vehicle.
It is believed that the lorry was the only one vehicle involved in the incident and it is on its side across the carriageway.
The motorway was still being cleared at 8.30am and is likely to affect morning commuters.
Fire crews from Stansted, Newport and two from Harlow attended the accident.
The lorry driver received head and shoulder injuries in the collision and was taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow.