M11 traffic: Southbound motorway near Stansted Airport closed until Friday after lorry crash

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

The M11 motorway will remain closed until 5am on Friday morning as the clean-up continues following a crash between two lorries.

A Royal Mail lorry and car transporter collided between junctions 10 and eight southbound at around 4.45am on Thursday, causing both to catch fire.

One lorry went up in flames on the hard shoulder, while the other was down an embankment - leaving fire crews with limited access. Both drivers suffered minor injuries.

The hard shoulder fire was put out by the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) but firefighters continued to work on the other after it kept reigniting.

The service said the fire was under control and officers were focused on monitoring hot spots and any reignited flames.

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

The ECFRS said in a statement on Thursday morning: "Firefighters are working to extinguish a lorry fire. Due to the lorry being down an embankment with difficult access, crews are working to remove the lorry to extinguish the fire.<

"Once removed from the embankment, crews will work to extinguish the fire. Crews are also working to recover another lorry and make the scene safe ready for resurfacing works to take place."

Drivers were urged to continue to avoid the area, where fire crews were set to remain for several hours to make sure it is safe.

Images from the fire service show several burnt cars on the transporter.

Charred remains of the cars were visible on the transporter. Credit: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Smoke could also be seen coming from the embankment on the side of the motorway.

National Highways South-East said a full closure was still in place, though trapped traffic had been released.

Some 250 metres of hard shoulder on the southbound carriageway was assessed and lanes one and two need resurfacing before the road can reopen, officials said.

It will reopen at 5am on Friday, after the HGVs have also been removed.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know