A number of other motorists were trapped inside their vehicles following the crash, which has shut the motorway between junctions 25 and 27.
One person was killed in the accident at around 1.50am this morning near Waltham Abbey. Three people were also taken to hospital following the accident at 1.50am, Essex Police said.
Chief Inspector Jonathan Baldwin from Essex Police told the BBC the crash site was a ‘catastrophic scene of carnage’.
It is reported some of the vehicles crashed through the central reservation barrier and ended up on the other side of the road. A number of people were trapped in their cars.
Inspector Dick Thomas said, “There is debris across both sides of the M25 and the motorway will be closed for the foreseeable future while we deal with this collision and begin our investigations to establish what has happened. If it is at all possible motorists are advised to avoid the area and find alternative routes. Nothing will be moving around this portion of the M25 for some considerable time, and the morning rush hour is likely to be affected.”
The East of England Ambulance Service said it had attended the ‘serious RTC’ near Waltham Abbey, and tweeted pictures of a badly damaged lorry at the scene.
They also warned drivers to avoid the area and use alternative routes.