A police spokesperson has confirmed that officers and detectives will work ‘around the clock’ to catch those responsible for looting onions from an overturned lorry in Southend – the accident brought local traffic to a standstill for a number of hours. According to witnesses at the scene, hordes of people arrived on the scene within minutes, and one disgusted onlooker described them as ‘animals.’

Joanne Frito added: ‘People were grabbing bags, boxes, buckets and other containers from their cars before running over and taking as many onions as they could carry. Nobody was trying to get the driver out of the cab, everyone was too busy looting these vegetables. A lot of them had split open, and everyone in a 100m radius was weeping uncontrollably. It could be months before Essex is able to produce another hot dog with the necessary garnish, and all that these people can do is descend into criminality – one lady just rammed her mobility scooter into a crowd of people to try and grab some veggie root loot.’

In a late development, it has emerged that the cleanup operation has taken more than 12 hours due to a dispute over the section of land where the onions fell. According to the Southend Saxon King Society, the onions disturbed a site where they believe the Saxon King’s dog Geoff was buried in 1034AD – the majority of the onions landed within just a few yards of the original Saxon King dig site. Every onion had to be carefully lifted and inspected by hand to make sure that ongoing archaelogical work isn’t affected, and some members of SSKS have already started lobbying the council for a full six-month closure of both lanes so that a full damage control assessment can be carried out. IMAGE CREDIT TWITTER @m4tt / Matt Brian