A WOMAN died and five people were seriously injured in a head-on crash on the A31.

Emergency services were alerted to the horrific crash involving two cars on the busy road on Wednesday afternoon.

The road was closed for several hours into the evening while crews worked at the scene and road policing officers begun their investigations.

Two of the injured ended up being airlifted from the scene.

An appeal for witnesses and information has been issued by Dorset Police.

Dorset Police was called just after 4.10pm to reports that two cars had collided on the A31 between the Lake Gates and Merley roundabouts, near Wimborne.

Six people were travelling in the cars – two in a black BMW 3 Series and four in a blue Ford Fiesta.

Speaking at the scene, Inspector Matt Butler of Dorset Police said that the collision had been head-on between the two vehicles.

A 49-year-old woman from Ringwood, who was driving the Fiesta, sadly died in the collision. Her next of kin have been informed and the coroner notified.

Another woman- a 18-year-old from Ringwood, the front seat passenger in the same car, was taken to Poole Hospital by road ambulance with serious injuries. Her condition is said to be serious but stable.

Two men, travelling in the back of the Fiesta, were airlifted by the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and the Hampshire Air Ambulance to Southampton General Hospital. Police said they were a 19-year-old Alderholt man and a 16-year-old Ringwood man - are both are being treated for very serious injuries.

Two men from Dorchester who were travelling in the BMW – the 24-year-old driver and 21-year-old front seat passenger – were taken by ambulance to Poole Hospital with serious injuries. Their condition is said to be serious but stable.

Insp Butler said: “We are investigating this particularly tragic collision.

“I am appealing to anyone who saw either vehicle prior to or at the time of the collision to please contact me on 101. I appreciate the road closures have caused considerable congestion in the area and I would like to thank motorists for their patience.”

A major emergency response saw both the Dorset and Somerset and Hampshire and Isle of Wight air ambulances, the police helicopter, officers and medics, fire crews and land ambulances all called to the scene.

A number of enhanced medically-trained police officers were also sent to the incident.

Speaking as the drama unfolded, a spokesman for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said: “I can confirm that we have crews from Wimborne, Redhill Park and Poole attending the road traffic collision on the A31 at Lake Gates.

“We were called to the incident at 4.16pm.

“We are assisting the ambulance service and using hydraulic rescue equipment to release trapped casualties.”

There were major delays as a result of the crash, with motorists being urged to avoid the area.

The road was closed between the Merley and Lake Gates roundabouts into the evening while experts carried out investigations on the scene.

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting incident number 10:244. Or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.