UPPER PROVIDENCE — Four people were injured, two seriously, in a fiery accident Thursday afternoon on North Providence Road, authorities said.

The collision occurred just after 12:30 on the 1900 block of North Providence Road, close to the intersection with Route 252 across from Rose Tree Park.

Police say a southbound car apparently crossed the centerline and hit two other cars before coming a stop on the northbound lanes shortly before 1 p.m. on the narrow road just north of Springton Lake Middle School.

Both cars burst into flames fed by leaking gasoline.

Three of the occupants were able to escape on their own before the cars burst into flames, said Upper Providence Fire Marshal Alan Mancell. However the passenger in one of the cars had a bad hip and was using a walker. She was not able to escape on her own. Neighbors and other motorists who had stopped at the scene were able to pull out to safety, Mancell said.

A fourth car was also struck and stopped up the road. It sustained only minor damage police said.

Two patients were taken to Crozer Chester Medical Center and two patients were taken to Riddle Hospital. Their conditions were not immediately available.

Rose Tree, Newtown and Media Fire Companies responded to the call. Mancell said Riddle medics, Media ambulance, Goshen, Marple and Crozer medics assisted.

Mancell said the need to place crews on both sides of the blaze hampered their response. Firefighters had to use foam to extinguish the gasoline-fed flames. The road was closed much of the afternoon as tow truck operators pried the burned out hulks of two cars from the asphalt pavement. Only the metal remained, tires and interiors had gone up in flames.

Route 252 was shut down for a while as emergency crews extinguished the blaze.

Firefighters also built an earthen dam to keep hazardous fluids from flowing into ground water sources, Mancell said.

"We were lucky this time," said Upper Providence Sgt. William Haines, as he surveyed the scene.

The accident is under investigation by Upper Providence police.

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