Five people were rushed to the hospital from an accident that closed a stretch of the West Shore Bypass in Berks County during the Wednesday evening rush hour.

The accident happened shortly before 5:30 p.m. in the westbound lanes near the Lancaster Avenue interchange.

The first emergency responders on the scene reported finding three people lying on the highway with serious injuries; others were described by officials to be "walking wounded."

The westbound lanes of the bypass were closed at the Route 422 Business interchange in Exeter Township for about an hour until crews could clear the wreckage. In the meantime, significant traffic backups were reported in both directions.