A lorry became engulfed in flames after catching fire on the motorway on Sunday evening, prompting all traffic to be stopped.
The heavy goods vehicle went up in flames on the M61 in Manchester, shortly after 8pm (March 13). All traffic heading northbound between junction 2 and 4 were stopped, as queues began to build.
A huge emergency services response rushed to the scene, including police, the fire service and traffic officers. Pictures and videos from the scene show the LGV engulfed in huge flames on the hard shoulder of the motorway.
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It was reported that a ‘crowd of spectators’ had also stopped on the motorway bridge on Cleggs Lane between Little Hulton and Farnworth. All three lanes of the M61 were closed and traffic within the closure was held as emergency services dealt with the incident.
According to traffic service Inrix, the incident happened at around 8pm. A diversion was put in place, with drivers urged to exit the M61 at junction 2 and follow the A666 (Kearsley Spur) and then the A5082 to rejoin at junction 4.
One road user, who stopped in the traffic congestion, tweeted: “I’ve had to pull over. Just watched a truck burst into flames on the M61.” Another told the BUT that they had been drinking in the nearby Dukes Gate Pub on Cleggs Lane, beside the motorway bridge, and that they ‘heard the huge explosion and it rocked the pub’.
They added: “You could see flames through the trees. And then the flames grew much larger and spread out.”
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service (GMFRS) said: “Just before 8pm this evening (March 13) firefighters were called to report a vehicle on fire on the M61 northbound, between junctions three and four.
“Four fire engines from Atherton, Bury, Eccles and Farnworth, alongside the Technical Response Unit from Leigh, arrived quickly at the scene. Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus and using hose reels are working to extinguish the fire and make the scene safe. GMFRS have been in attendance for over an hour and remain at the scene. ”
Transport for Greater Manchester announced that it would be likely that the motorway was to remain closed overnight as emergency crews continued to deal with the incident.
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