How a tragic crash that killed two teens sparked a night of violence

Police faced what they called ‘large scale disorder’ after receiving reports of a collision in Ely area of Cardiff

Tara Cobham
Thursday 25 May 2023 09:00 BST
Early reports suggested hundreds gathered at the scene in Ely on Monday night

A crash that killed two teenagers appears to have “sparked” the rioting seen in Cardiff on Monday evening, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales has said.

Police faced what they called “large scale disorder” after receiving reports of a collision on Snowden Road in Ely around 6pm on Monday, with tensions reaching breaking point as cars were set on fire and fireworks were shot at officers.

Alun Michael told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday morning: “My understanding is that there was a road traffic accident involving two teenagers on an off-road bike or scooter and sadly, they died. That’s an incident obviously that is being investigated in its own right.

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“And that appears to have sparked, for reasons that aren’t clear, the disorder… in which something like a dozen officers were injured.

“Fortunately, none of them life-threatening, and the connection between the two is far from clear.”

Early reports suggested hundreds gathered at the scene after false rumours spread online about a police chase in the area.

Mr Michael warned against people speculating on what happened.

“So obviously there’s going to be investigations going on this morning to try and establish what happened,” he said.

“It would appear that there were rumours, and those rumours became rife, of a police chase, which wasn’t the case and I think it illustrates the speed with which rumours can run around with the activity that goes on social media nowadays, and that events can get out of hand.”

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