TWO teenage boys were killed in a crash sparking a huge riot in which thugs torched cars and pelted cops with rocks and fireworks last night.
Masked rioters attacked police with missiles and paving slabs as violence erupted in Ely, Cardiff, on Monday night amid 15ft high flames.
In chaotic scenes live-streamed on YouTube, a baying mob cheers as explosives are hurled at officers wearing shields, helmets and body armour.
The riot kicked off after two teenage boys – believed to be on a scooter or off-road bike – were killed in a crash at about 6pm.
Rumours the boys were being chased by police before the crash quickly spread through the community causing fury at cops.
But the crime commissioner for South Wales denied there had been a police chase this morning.
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Alun Michael said the fatal road accident "sparked" the unrest – which also saw "a dozen officers" injured.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "My understanding is that there was a road traffic accident involving two teenagers on an off-road bike or scooter and sadly, they died.
"That's an incident obviously that is being investigated in its own right.
"And that appears to have sparked, for reasons that aren't clear, the disorder… in which something like a dozen officers were injured.
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"Fortunately, none of them life-threatening, and the connection between the two is far from clear.
"So obviously there's going to be investigations going on this morning to try and establish what happened.
"People will be brought to account for the violence. Obviously very frightening for local people.
"And there were a lot of calls to the police expressing concern about what was going on.
"My understanding is that those things [missiles] were thrown at the police and about a dozen officers were injured.
"None of them life-threatening, fortunately, but of course, there's a lot a lot of luck involved in that.
"Officers were mobilised to the area and there was support from neighbouring forces."
Rubbishing claims of a chase he added: "It would appear that there were rumours, and those rumours became rife, of a police chase, which wasn't the case and I think it illustrates the speed with which rumours can run around with the activity that goes on social media nowadays, and that events can get out of hand."
The violence is understood to have continued deep into the early hours of this morning with a road in the area still closed.
Residents were spotted throwing the explosives at officers as the unrest broke out on Highmead Road.
A helicopter could be heard hovering overhead as police used a loudspeaker to tell those at the scene to disperse and go home.
The rioters then targeted a second car parked behind the burning vehicle, trying to push it into the flames before turning it over.
Some were heard shouting "light it up" when 15ft infernos took hold.
A member of the public was attacked due to rioters thinking they were undercover police, according to one of the senior officers at the scene.
There's going to be investigations going on this morning to try and establish what happened
Local Jane Palmer and her family watched from their window as rioters set fire to her Ford Focus.
She said: "I'm disabled so now I'm trapped without my car.
"Why are they doing this? It's just silly now."
The family attempted to stop the fire using water from their garden hose.
Another resident added: "Enough is enough now. This has gone beyond.
"When people are making fun of what's happening on social media it's crossed a line.
"This is our neighbourhood and those doing this are just kids. It needs to stop."
Rubbish, wheelie bins and cars were set alight as rioters continued to be moved through the streets by armoured police.
Families with young children watched the disorder unfold.
Dozens of youths remained into the night, many covering their faces.
Men were also seen ripping off their t-shirts to shield their identities as fires raged near them.
It's understood the chaos was still going on around 3am on Tuesday morning.
Police, including mounted officers on horseback, were seen outside Ely police station in the early hours after suggestions it could be targeted.
The local force were warning anyone between Wilson Road and Jackson Road to stay indoors.
Cops said the collision "had already occurred when officers arrived".
South Wales Police last night said: "Shortly after 6pm this evening, we received a report of a serious road traffic collision on Snowden Road.
"Police responded to this collision, which had already occurred when officers arrived.
"We need to ensure that this evening's collision is effectively investigated by forensics and specialist staff.
"Officers remain on scene to manage a large-scale disorder.
"Again, we urge anyone involved or watching to leave immediately.
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"We understand the concern from local residents and we ask you to stay indoors."
Anyone with information about the collision or the disorder is asked to contact the force quoting 2200166555.
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