THREE people have been taken to hospital following a crash on the A19 near Dalton Park.

Both carriageways are now open again following the accident, which Durham Police said was thought to involve up to 12 vehicles.

The accident happened on the south-bound carriageway at about 9.15am. 

Just after 2pm Durham Police said the northbound carriageway had reopened. The southbound reopened at around 3.30pm.

A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) said six ambulances were sent to the scene and it had requested support from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS)

She said: "We treated one patient on the scene and are taking three people to Sunderland General."

The GNAAS is attending the scene, along with five fire engines. 

Easington MP Grahame Morris tweeted: "Air ambulance on scene after 12-crash near Dalton Park closes A19” When will Transport Ministers and @HighwaysEngland investigate the causes of so many serous accidents on the #A19"

County Durham Fire and Rescue Service wrote on Twitter: "Five appliances are currently at the scene of a multi-vehicle collision on the south bound side of the A19 near to Dalton Park. Police have closed the road, please find an alternative route - thank you for your cooperation."

One person wrote on Facebook: "Horrendous crash on the A19 southbound just after Dalton Park sliproad. Road closed in both directions. Hope everyone involved is ok."

Another person wrote: "Accident A19 southbound just after Dalton Park turn off. Northbound very slow being directed off to Dalton Park turn off. Looks quite bad! Hope everyone's OK!"

A third wrote: "There's a massive crash on (the) A19 coming towards Dalton Park, really bad."

A spokesman for Durham Police said at the time of the incident: "We are currently attending a traffic collision on the A19 southbound involving 12 vehicles.

"The collision happened at about 9.15am this morning.

"Both carriageways are currently closed and the Great North Air Ambulance is also attending the scene.

"There is currently no estimated time for the road to be reopened and it is advised that alternative routes are used."