Two girls aged seven and 10 have died after a car they were travelling in left the A47 and overturned in a ditch.

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Tonight the girls were named as Tamzin Portor, 10, and her seven-year-old sister Jessica, from Sutton Bridge.

Their 12-year-old brother Liam suffered minor injuries in the accident, along with their 38-year-old father Allan Portor, who was the front seat passenger.

The 43-year-old female driver, who was not the girls’ mother, also suffered minor injuries.

Police say the black Ford Focus left the road, ending up on its side at the edge of a ditch, near the junction with Broadend Road, between the Elme Hall and Lynn Road roundabouts at around 6.40pm.

Five people were travelling in the car, two adults and three children, who were all taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn. A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: “Five ambulances, one air ambulance, plus clinical managers in rapid response cars attended the scene.

“Crews worked hard in very difficult circumstances but despite stirling efforts they were sadly unable to save the two children.

“This was an incredibly tragic incident and our deepest sympathies are with their family and loved ones.”

The car left the road close to the corner of an orchard. It ploughed through brambles and smashed through a wooden gate as it overturned and came to rest on its side.

Specialist crash investigators are now trying to establish why the Focus left the road, while checks will also be carried out on the car to check whether it had any defects which could have caused the crash.

Chief Insp Chris Spinks, head of road policing in Norfolk and Suffolk, extended his sympathies to the girls’ family and friends and appealed for witnesses to come forward.

He said: “Fatal collisions are tragic in any circumstances but given the fact that two young lives have been lost at this time of year seems to make it that much worse.

“Specially trained family liaison officers are supporting the bereaved relatives and collision investigation officers are piecing together the events that led to the crash.

“The circumstances are still unclear at this stage and I would ask anyone who thinks they might have information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to come forward.”

Police would like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has information concerning the driving manner of the vehicle prior to the collision.

The road was closed in both directions for several hours and was re-opened shortly before 10.30pm.

Witnesses should contact Sgt Peter Howlett at Swaffham Roads Policing on 101.

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