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Birmingham crash: First victim named as Imtiaz Mohammed

The first of six victims killed in a "horrific" multi-vehicle crash in Birmingham has been named locally as taxi driver, Imtiaz Mohammed.

The father of six and his two passengers all died in the accident on Belgrave Middleway, near Edgbaston, in the early hours of Sunday.

Three men, who were in one of the three cars directly involved, also died. A fourth is critically injured.

Crash investigators are trying to piece together what caused the pile-up.

West Midlands Police has described dealing with the wreckage as "very difficult and upsetting".

A cousin told the Press Association Mr Mohammed was a loving father whose children were all under 15.

Liaqat Ali said one is due to to celebrate their birthday on Monday and added: "He was a very nice guy, caring and hard-working."

The taxi driver's employer, Castle Cars, said it was "shocked and devastated" to learn of Mr Mohammed's death.

'Greatly missed'

Spokeswoman Debbie Ormsby said: "Imtiaz was a wonderful young hard-working family man.

"He was loved and respected by all who worked with him and he will be greatly missed.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all the other families affected by this tragedy."

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A female passenger in Mr Mohammed's car was confirmed dead at the scene of the crash, which happened on the underpass where Belgrave and Lee Bank Middleway meet.

Her male companion died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The first car in the crash had suffered extensive damage but, "astonishingly", the man and woman inside managed to get out with relatively minor injuries, an ambulance service spokesman said.

Four men in the third car had all had been thrown from the vehicle and three died at the scene, he added.

The fourth was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and is in a critical condition.

Three other cars were caught up in the crash and suffered minor damage trying to avoid it.

Michelle Brotherton, from the ambulance service, said her staff had dealt with 13 patients in total.

As well as those who died and the man in a critical condition, four people were taken to Heartlands Hospital where their condition is believed to be non-life threatening.

A further two patients were "discharged on scene".

Skip Twitter post by @WMPolice

Police, @WestMidsFire & @OFFICIALWMAS are responding to a very serious crash on Lee Bank Middleway in Edgbaston, Birmingham near to the tunnel which goes beneath Bristol Street. Call received at 1.11am Sun 17/12. Avoid area. Road will be closed for a very long time.

— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) December 17, 2017

End of Twitter post by @WMPolice

Police said they are following various lines of investigation including the condition of the road when the crash happened.

At a press conference Supt Sean Phillips said it was "too early" to speculate on the cause of the accident.

"It will take some time to unpick and just understand exactly what's happened. It would be unfair for me to speculate at this time," he said.

He confirmed the road had been gritted at 17:00 GMT on Saturday.

The stretch of road from Islington Row to Bristol Street has been closed while officers investigate.

The road has two lanes either side and a 40mph speed limit.

One resident who lives opposite said: "This road is really dangerous. Young kids like to challenge themselves and go really fast.

"I can't believe six people have died, and so close to Christmas and New Year."

Area Commander Jason Campbell, of West Midlands Fire Service, described it as a "horrific" incident in which the crash site had been "spread over some distance".

Any witnesses have been asked to contact West Midlands Police.

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