Edward thanks Burnham fire chief during visit to M5 crews
fire station officer was among the emergency personnel praised
by Prince Edward for their response to November's tragic M5 accident
during a special visit to Somerset on Friday (December 9th).
Police, fire, ambulance and highways crews worked tirelessly
to rescue those involved in the collision that tragically took
A total of 51 people were injured in the 34 vehicles, many of
which burst into flames near junction 25.
Edward was welcomed to County Hall in Taunton by Assistant Chief
Constable Anthony Bangham who led the operation as Gold commander
on the night in question.
The Earl Of Wessex met around 80 members of staff from the emergency
services, including Burnham fire officer Ian Hazelton, who led
a team of Burnham firefighters at the scene.
Ian told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The Prince was very interest
to hear about what we did that night and how the work of the emergency
crews from Burnham and across Somerset was performed. He was very
appreciative and thanked us all."
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham added: "Prince Edward's visit
is welcome recognition of the courage and dedication shown by
many of those emergency service officers who faced difficult circumstances
when they arrived at the scene."
"Although this is what they do day to day many had never
responded to an incident of this scale. We thank His Royal Highness
for taking the time to come and meet those involved."
Sgt Dave Loat from the police's collision investigation unit
added: "Having worked in this field for the last 11 years
this was one of the worst incidents I have ever seen. Out of adverse
circumstances all emergency services and support agencies worked
extremely well together to limit the loss of life the best we
could. It is great to receive recognition for the work we do day