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Five children heading to Disney die in crash

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Disney World in Florida (stock image)

Disney World in Florida (stock image)

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Disney World in Florida (stock image)

Five children heading to Disney World in a church van have died along with two truck drivers in a fiery crash in north Florida, police said.

The children were travelling in a large passenger van from Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, on Thursday, according to Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant Patrick Riordan.

A lorry and a passenger vehicle collided in the northbound lanes of Interstate 75 and continued across the central reservation and into the path of another HGV and the church van, investigators said.

"Once those semis struck, they both caught fire," Lt Riordan said.

He said a fifth vehicle came through and either struck people who had been thrown from the wreckage or debris. About 50 gallons of diesel spilled, worsening the fire that also damaged the road in spots.

At least eight people were taken hospital with injuries.

Nicole Towarek was travelling northbound with her family when they came across the scene. "We kept seeing these little explosions and fire," she said. "The heat, it was insane."

Irish Independent