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Tributes paid to Skelmersdale Takeaway owners after they were killed in M65 crash

Mohammed Iqbal and Mazafer Iqbal lost their lives on Saturday morning

Emergency crews at the M65 crash scene where two men died after two cars ended on their roofs Picture IAN THOMPSON

Best friends who worked in a Skelmersdale takeaway were killed in a three-car crash on the M65 early on Saturday morning.

Mohammed Iqbal, 48, and Mazafer Iqbal, 47, were travelling home along the eastbound carriageway when the crash happened at 2.15am.

The pair, who had been travelling in a blue Peugeot 106, had been working in a branch of Chunky Chicken in Skelmersdale.

Police said the Peugeot, a silver Renault Clio and a black Citroen C2 were all travelling towards Burnley, between Junctions 9 and 10, when they crashed.

Two of the cars were left overturned and the motorway was closed for around 10 hours as police investigated and removed the wreckage.

Paramedics and police were called but Mohammed, from Burnley, and Mazafer, from Brierfield — friends for 30 years — were both
pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the silver Renault Clio was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital with minor injuries, while the driver of the black Citroen C2 was uninjured.

A spokesman for their families said: “Both families are shocked and devastated by what has happened. “No- one can believe it.

“We are religious families and we were looking forward to celebrating Eid together and now we find ourselves thinking about burying family members on the holy day.

“It is just unbelievable.

“The loss of both men has left a huge hole in two families. They were both loving fathers.

“We are trying to find comfort in our faith at this time.”

The families also thanked the emergency services for their help at the scene.

Father-of-four Mazafer ran a branch of Chunky Chicken in Skelmersdale, owned by his brother who also owns a restaurant of the same name in Nelson, east Lancashire.

Mazafer also ran Concourse Newsagents in Skelmersdale town centre.

Mohammed Iqbal worked at Sleep Sound Beds in Accrington but was known to help out his friend of 30 years in his Skelmersdale takeaway from time to time.

Police motorway patrols attended the scene and an investigation is underway.

Lancashire Constabulary is appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Senior investigating officer sergeant John Jennings Wharton said of the crash: “This is a tragic incident in which two men have lost their lives.’

He added: “I am keen to speak with anybody that witnessed the collision itself or thinks they saw any of the three vehicles travelling along the M65 in the early hours of this morning to come forward and speak with us.”

Anyone with information should call Lancashire police on 101 quoting log number 202.