NINE cows have died following a crash on the A12 this morning. 

The A12 was closed in both directions this morning after cows got on to the carriageway.

The road was closed by police between the two Witham junctions after a number of cars were involved in collisions with the animals earlier this morning.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We were called just after 3am this morning, August 17, with reports that a number of vehicles had collided with cows on the A12 near Witham.

"Two people were treated by ambulance staff, both for minor injuries. One person was taken to hospital.

"It is believed that nine cows died in the incident.

"The A12 was closed at Witham for a number of hours while officers managed the scene, and drivers were diverted via Witham town centre.

"Both lanes were open again just before 9am.

"Thank you to motorists for their co-operation, as the incident caused significant disruption to the morning commute."

No detail on age, or the person's injuries, has been given.  

A spokesman for the ambulance service said: "We were called at 4.40am, and an ambulance was on scene around five minutes later, plus a response car.

"We took one person to hospital with minor injuries." 

Queues of traffic built up quickly on the southbound carriageway and were back as far as Marks Tey.

UPDATE 8.14AM: The A12 is now OPEN in both directions at J22 (Witham north) after the earlier accident. 

Very long queues remain on the Londonbound carriageway  back past J25 (Marks Tey).

Traffic on the northbound carriageway is moving well.

There are still long delays in both directions on the B1389 through Witham and on the B1022 southbound through Tiptree.

The A120 is slow westbound between Coggeshall and Braintree as drivers divert from the A12.