M11 southbound to stay shut most of day after oil spill and fires on Essex-Cambridgeshire border

  • A video from Luke Rogers shows the scale of the damage

The London-bound side of the M11 is likely to stay closed for most of Thursday after an accident involving a lorry and a car transporter.

The motorway in Essex was blocked in both directions between Junction 9 near Saffron Walden and Junction 8 near Bishop's Stortford, following two fires which caused a large oil spillage affecting all lanes. 

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said a car transporter caught fire on the carriageway, and an HGV came off the road and caught fire down the embankment.

At 8.25am, crews were still working to extinguish the lorry fire, though the transporter fire had been put out. Work to recover the vehicles and clear the debris was also beginning.

It is understood the drivers sustained minor injuries.

The wreckage of the lorry fire by the side of the M11. Credit: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Station manager Lee Hurst said: "Due to the complicated nature of this incident and to ensure the safety of crews and road users, the London-bound carriageway is still closed and is likely to remain closed for the most of the day.

"We are working with our partners to release traffic caught in queues and we'd like to thank drivers for their patience and support."

Fire crews were called at 4.42am, with crews from Stansted, Saffron Walden, Newport and Linton dealing with the incident.

Dramatic video from the scene shows the vehicle on one side of the M11 in flames.

Drivers were asked to avoid the area as the northbound carriageway traffic was held with 60-minute delays with six miles of congestion.

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