SIX people were taken to hospital last night with serious injuries after a head-on smash in North Dorset.

The emergency services were called to the A350 near Iwerne Minster at 7.34pm, a police spokesman said.

Sgt Stuart Pitman, speaking to the Daily Echo at the scene, said the crash involved a silver BMW and a blue Land Rover Freelander.

This morning a police spokesman said five occupants of the BMW and one occupant of the Freelander had all sustained serious injuries.

One occupant of the BMW is in a critical condition in Southampton General Hospital. 

Dorset Police confirmed at 11am today that the one BMW occupant remained in a critical condition and the other five casualties were still being treated in hospital.

Both the air ambulance and police helicopter attended and it is thought that some of the casualties were airlifted to hospital.

Land ambulances were also called.

A spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service told the Daily Echo that three males - one aged in his 50s, one in his 30s and a teenager - were involved, along with a woman in her 30s and two children, the ages of which are not yet known.

Four of those involved were taken to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester, one to Poole Hospital and one to Southampton General Hospital.

The road was closed between the A354 Salisbury Road at Blandford and the A30 at Shaftesbury.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said that crews from Shaftesbury and Blandford were sent to the scene, along with a heavy rescue appliance.

Firefighters worked to free those trapped.

Accident investigators were at the scene, while the road was shut for a considerable amount of time.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the crash, or anyone who saw the cars being driven beforehand, to contact them on 101.