10:03 am, Thu 13 Dec 2012 M6 Lorry Fire
M6 fully reopens after lorry fire
The M6 near Coventry has fully reopened after a chemical tanker fire left 10 people, including eight firefighters, needing hospital treatment for the effect of reportedly toxic fumes.
The motorway was closed in both directions around junction 3 after the lorry, which was carrying chemicals and paper, suffered a tyre blowout which led to the fire around 9.30am.
An 800-metre exclusion zone was set up around the vehicle, whose driver was among those who needed treatment, though all were released later.
A Highways Agency spokesman said:
"The M6 southbound fully reopened between junctions 4 and 3 at around 7.45pm, with the M6 northbound between junctions 3 and 3a fully reopening at 10pm."A small section (about 40 metres) of the hard shoulder on the M6 northbound, between junctions 3 and 3a, was damaged and will remain coned off until it can be resurfaced."
8:04 pm, Wed 12 Dec 2012 M6 Lorry Fire
Exactly what happened on the M6 today
Chief Inspector Adrian Knight from Warwickshire Police describes exactly what happened on the M6 today.
The M6 southbound is now open but fire crews are still working on the closed northbound carriage of the motorway, between Junction 3 and 4.
5:53 pm, Wed 12 Dec 2012 M6 Lorry Fire
Exclusion zone lifted on M6
The scene earlier today
Credit: PA Pictures
The Highways Agency have advised that the exclusion zone around the chemical tanker on the M6 has now been lifted.
The northbound carriage of the M6 has been cleared of trapped traffic.
Police are still releasing traffic onto the southbound carriageway.
They are now working with the emergency services to re-open both carriageways as soon as possible.
There is still no access from the M6 Toll onto the southbound carriageway.
Lanes should be open by 7pm.
4:19 pm, Wed 12 Dec 2012 M6 Lorry Fire
Update to statement from Warwickshire Fire Service
“All people who were admitted to hospital have now been released with no lasting ill effects.
“The group is able to reiterate its assurances to the public that no risk is posed. Any smouldering from the scene is a result of the burning paper and is not connected to chemicals.
“Work is progressing to get the people displaced from their vehicles to Corley Services Station back on the road.
“Our priority will then be to get the M6 open again.”
– Strategic Co-ordinating Group
4:15 pm, Wed 12 Dec 2012 M6 Lorry Fire
M6 handed over to Highways Agency within next hour
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service will hand the M6 lorry fire scene over to the Highways Agency within the next hour.
4:13 pm, Wed 12 Dec 2012 M6 Lorry Fire
Eight firefighters and two people taken to hospital from M6 lorry fire
Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service have released a statement about their operation on the M6.
“At this stage, our priority is to contain the chemicals and remove them and ensure that there are no hazards to public health at the scene.
We will then seek to remove vehicles from the scene and re-open the motorway later today.
Ten people, including 8 firefighters, were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.
– Strategic Co-ordinating Group, Spokesperson
One remains in hospital and is being monitored carefully but we anticipate he will be released very soon.
Our information indicates that the chemicals will pose no danger to the public and we would like to reassure everybody who has been in the vicinity.
However, we advise residents living within the vicinity to stay inside and close the windows, again, as a precaution only.”
– Strategic Co-ordinating Group, Spokesperson
2:48 pm, Wed 12 Dec 2012 M6 Lorry Fire
Exclusion zone extended to 1,000m around lorry fire
Fire Service lorry at the scene
Credit: ITV Central
Both lanes of the M6 between junctions 2 and 4, near Coventry, are likely to remain closed for several more hours, following an earlier vehicle fire.
A HGV carrying chemicals along the northbound carriageway between junction 3 and 3a, caught fire after a tyre blowout at 9.45am this morning.
Traffic is being diverted from junction 2 along the A46 Coventry Bypass, the A45 and A425 to rejoin the M6 at junction 4.
A 1,000m exclusion zone has been set up by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service. Motorists have been evacuated and will be taken to nearby Corley Services.
Nearby residents are advised to keep their windows closed.
2:39 pm, Wed 12 Dec 2012 M6 Lorry Fire
Central reservation of M6 removed to allow vehicles to turn around
Emergency Services removing the central reservation
Credit: Mark Pearmain
Traffic is now being turned around onto the southbound carriage of the M6.
2:32 pm, Wed 12 Dec 2012 M6 Lorry Fire
Location of M6 chemical lorry fire
The blue arrow is where the lorry is on M6, the red arrow is Corley Services
Credit: Google Maps
The location of the lorry fire on the M6.
The green lines show where traffic is now starting to ease.