A BOURNEMOUTH woman was killed in a crash which also left five others seriously injured this morning.

The woman, who was 35, was behind the wheel of a silver Vauxhall Astra when her vehicle was involved in a collision with a silver Peugeot people carrier on the A35.

Police, paramedics and firefighters were called to a stretch of the road two miles from Bere Regis shortly after 8.35am.

Despite their efforts, the woman died at the scene. Her family has been informed and the coroner notified.

Five people travelling in the Peugeot were trapped in the car. All were freed by firefighters from the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The driver – a 55-year-old man from Poole – sustained serious injuries and was taken by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital for treatment.

Four of his passengers - a man and a woman in their 20s, a woman in her 40s and a woman in her late teens - were also seriously injured. They were rushed to hospital by ambulance.

The road was closed between Morden Park Corner and Woodbury Cross for much of the day to allow the emergency services to deal with the incident. It reopened at around 4.45pm, some eight hours after the initial closure.

A police cordon at the scene was twice extended. The Astra was fully covered with tarpaulin while investigations are carried out.

Sergeant Craig Tatton, of the traffic unit, has called for anyone with information to come forward.

"I am appealing to anyone who witnessed the collision or saw the manner of driving of either vehicle immediately prior to the incident to please contact Dorset Police," Sgt Tatton said.

"I would like to thank the public for their patience during the road closures, which have been absolutely necessary to allow us to treat the injured casualties and establish the circumstances of the collision."

Debris from both vehicles littered the carriageway. The roof of the people carrier was cut off to allow paramedics to provide medical help to casualties.

The back seats were also removed from the vehicle by firefighters. Investigators could be seen lifting a wheelchair from the wreckage.

The stretch of road where the collision took place is subject to the national speed limit.

This morning, before the extent of the collision was known, police said they had been called to a "very serious collision" and urged motorists to avoid the area and seek alternative routes.

The closure affected traffic between Morden Park Corner and Woodbury Cross. There was no through route between Bere Regis and Lytchett Minster as a result of the incident.

Anyone with information should contact Dorset Police via dorset.police.uk, by email at scit@dorset.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101, quoting incident number 11:133.