A THREE vehicle collision caused a lengthy the closure of a busy dual carriageway today.

At least two casualties were taken to hospital following the accident on the southbound carriageway of the A19, near Peterlee, County Durham.

The crash took place at around 10.30am, with one of the vehicles involved striking a lamp-post.

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Emergency services were called to the scene, between the Peterlee and Old Shotton junctions.

The Great North Air Ambulance flew one casualty to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, while a second was taken by ambulance to North Tees Hospital in Stockton.

Police said early indications suggested none of the injuries were life threatening.

Both sides of the A19 in the vicinity were initially closed to traffic as the air ambulance attending the accident landed on the northbound carriageway, where there had also been report of a further shunt involving a four-wheel drive car near the A181 turn-off for Wingate.

Following an 80 minute closure the northbound carriageway was reopened to traffic, but the southbound side remained closed into this afternoon as police inquiries continued at the scene and debris was removed from the road surface.