A 16-year-old girl and a 21-year-old man have died and two teenagers have life threatening injuries after a BMW crashed into a tree in the middle of the night.

Essex Police has confirmed two people died at the scene of the crash, which took place in Goldings Hill, Loughton.

Emergency crews were called shortly after 2am (Saturday) - fire crews from Loughton and Epping worked for two hours to free two casualties, two girls aged 16 and 17, who were later taken to hospital in a life threatening condition.

Only one vehicle was involved in the crash - a silver BMW M3.

Police have confirmed a 21-year-old man from Loughton was arrested at the scene on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.

He was taken to hospital, where he currently remains. He is believed to have minor injuries.

Goldings Hill is currently closed between Epping Road and Baldwin's Hill.

Essex Police Serious Collision Investigation inspector Rob Brettell tweeted: "Currently at the scene of a serious collision on #Goldings Hill, #Loughton. "Road is closed and will remain closed for the majority of the morning while we examine the scene and collect all our evidence. Please find alternative route."

Police are appealing for witnesses.

A spokesperson for the force said: "We are appealing for witnesses who saw what happened, or saw a silver BMW M3 driving in the Loughton and Epping areas in the early hours of this morning.

"We are also keen to speak to anyone who was driving in the area who has dash cam footage, or anyone who has CCTV.

"Witnesses are asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit on 01245 240590 or email CollisionAppeal@essex.pnn.police.uk

"Alternatively, contact the Crimestoppers charity 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org"