Six people have been killed in a “horrific” multiple-vehicle crash.
The accident happened on Belgrave Middleway in Birmingham at about 01:00 GMT and involved six vehicles.
The driver of a taxi died at the scene near Edgbaston, along with a female passenger, while a male passenger died later in hospital.
Four men in a car were all thrown from their vehicle and three of them died at the crash site. The fourth is in a critical condition.
West Midlands Police described the scene as “very difficult and upsetting” and said the stretch of road from Islington Row to Bristol Street was closed.
West Midlands Fire Service sent 40 firefighters to the crash site, which Midlands Ambulance Service described as “extensive”.
“In the first car, there were a man and a woman,” a spokesman for the ambulance service said.
“The vehicle had suffered very extensive damage but astonishingly, despite the damage, the pair had managed to get out and had suffered relatively minor injuries.
“The second vehicle, a black cab, was on its side. Sadly, there was nothing that could be done to save the driver and he was confirmed dead at the scene.
“The man and woman in the back were rapidly extricated. Unfortunately, it was not possible to save the woman and she was also confirmed dead at the scene.”
The male passenger was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham but he too died.
Of the four men thrown from the third car, the spokesman said: “Tragically, three of them were confirmed dead at the scene.”
The fourth was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and is in a critical condition.
There were three other cars caught up in the crash that suffered minor damage while trying to avoid it.
In a press conference, Supt Sean Phillips said the police officer in charge of the investigation had described it as a “very harrowing scene”.
At the scene: Riyah Collins, BBC West Midlands
Metres of police cordon tape and a number of vehicles have been used to seal off the road, and a blue forensic tents can be seen below in the underpass.
The cordon stretches at least 100 metres either side of the Middleway and I can see numerous police officers.
As locals find out what happened, they all say how tragic it is that six people should die so close to Christmas.
It is not yet known what caused the crash, but locals are telling me there has long been a problem with speeding and racing on this road and the adjoining Bristol Street.
A car involved in a separate crash nearby just a week ago is still on the side of the road.
The accident happened below the underpass on the A38/Bristol Road, where Belgrave Middleway meets Lee Bank Middleway.
One resident who lives opposite said she woke at about 02:00 and saw the emergency crews.
“This road is really dangerous. Young kids like to challenge themselves and go really fast,” she said.
“I can’t believe six people have died, and so close to Christmas and New Year. It’s shocking.”
The road has two lanes either side and a 40mph speed limit.
Area Commander Jason Campbell, of West Midlands Fire Service, described it as a “horrific” incident.
He said the crash scene was complex and “spread over some distance”.
“Our firefighters’ actions involved stabilising vehicles, releasing the dead and injured, as well as administering CPR and first aid.”
Any witnesses to the crash have been asked to contact West Midlands Police.
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