Pictured: Two friends who died alongside third young man in horror Staples Corner car crash

Three young men have died and another is fighting for his life after their car crashed near a north London retail park.

Five people, all believed to be in their 20s, were in the Mercedes CLK convertible when it plunged through a retail car park fence down a 20ft bank and into trees in the incident on Sunday evening.

Two of the young men who were killed were named locally on Monday as close friends Mohamad Emad Zeidani and Sohail Zulfiqar.

Mohamad Emad Zeidani and Sohail Zulfiqar (ES Composite / handout)
Mohamad Emad Zeidani and Sohail Zulfiqar (ES Composite / handout)

A family friend of one of the victims said they were returning from one of their regular visits to a 24-hour gym at Staples Corner when the accident occurred.

The car was near Staples Corner at just before 11.30pm when the alarm was raised and emergency services scrambled to the scene, near Hendon.

Police said the convertible with five occupants, had crashed through a car park fence and down an embankment striking a footbridge.

It is not believed that any other vehicle was involved in the incident and no arrests have been made.

The family friend, who gave his name as Nabil, said: “They were such lovely boys, we are all devastated. They were studying together. They did everything together. They studied and went to the gym together.

“They were good boys, very intelligent.”

“How could this have happened we need to know. We need more information. The family are still waiting for answers.”

Police confirmed that three men died while another is in a critical condition.

A fifth man suffered non life threatening injuries in what police described as a "terrible accident".

The crashed car at the scene (John Dunne / ES)
The crashed car at the scene (John Dunne / ES)

Another friend at the scene said: “I was told the boy not so badly injured was flung from the car that’s why he survived. I have spoken to my friend who is one of their fathers. He needs answers.”

Officers believe that a number of cars were in the car park. Enquires are ongoing to establish what happened and to trace everyone who was in the car park at the time of the incident.

Police traffic accident investigators were at the scene on Monday trawling for clues. Debris was strewn across the road and railings left smashed in by the impact.

Pictures from the scene showed the car in a bank of trees. The vehicle is understood to have left a road above. There have been no arrests.

A local garage owner said: “I turned up for work this morning and there were police everywhere. It was carnage. There as blood in the road it was horrific.”

Inspector William Mcdonald, one of the officers responsible for policing Barnet, said: “Emergency services responded last night to what seems to have been a terrible accident.

“An urgent police investigation is under way to establish the full circumstances, led by detectives from the Met’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit.

Emergency services at the scene (John Dunne / ES)
Emergency services at the scene (John Dunne / ES)

“Officers are in the process of informing the families of the five young people. The families will be supported by specialist officers. I send them my sincere condolences/

The air ambulance and fire crews with specialist cutting equipment to help free accident victims from the wreckage were dispatched to the scene along with police.

A Met statement added: "Police were called at 23:26hrs on Sunday, 14 April, to reports of a road traffic incident involving a car at Staples Corner retail park.

"It is not believed that any other vehicle was involved in the incident.

The scene following the fatal crash in north London (John Dunne / ES)
The scene following the fatal crash in north London (John Dunne / ES)

"Officers attended the location along with London Fire Brigade, London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance.

"They found five people, all believed to be men aged in their early 20s. Sadly three people were pronounced dead at the scene. Two other people were taken to hospital, one is in a critical condition while the other person’s condition has been assessed as not life-threatening."

Police said there were extensive road closures following the crash but all roads have now reopened.

Anyone who witnessed the incident but has not yet spoken with police is asked to call 101, reference 7502/14april.