Thames Valley Police is continuing to investigate a fatal collision on the M1 near Newport Pagnell in the early hours of this morning
Six men and two women, who were travelling in a minibus, died following a collision which also involved two heavy goods vehicles shortly before 3.15am on the southbound carriageway, close to junction 14.
Firefighters used hydraulic rescue equipment to release a woman, a man and a five-year-old girl who were also travelling in the minibus.
They were taken to hospital where they all currently remain in a life-threatening condition.
Another woman was also taken to hospital with serious injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening.
The emergency services and Highways England attended the scene and a closure was in place on the southbound carriageway between junction 15 and junction 14 until shortly before 1pm.
Officers from the Joint Operations Unit for Roads Policing launched an investigation to establish the circumstances of the collision.
Chief inspector Henry Parsons said: “The scene facing the officers who attended was complex and the recovery operation which followed was challenging. Tragically eight people lost their lives, with four further people seriously injured, and it is our duty to establish the circumstances of what happened.
“Officers are working to inform the next of kin of the people who died and specially-trained family liaison officers will be offering them their support. Some of those involved were visiting the UK from India and we are working to keep families abroad informed.
“This collision was deeply distressing for the members of the public who witnessed it, along with the emergency service workers who attended and displayed high levels of professionalism. Thames Valley Police has highly trained collision investigators who, over the coming weeks and months, will work to determine what caused this tragedy.
“I would like to reiterate it is vitally important that anyone who saw what happened, who has not already spoken to officers, comes forward with information.”
Anyone with any information should contact the 24-hour Thames Valley Police enquiry centre on 101 quoting URN 203 26/8.
A 31-year-old man from Worcestershire, who was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and driving a motor vehicle when above the alcohol limit, and a 53-year-old man from Stoke-on-Trent, who was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, remain in police custody.