London

M1 in London closed by scrapyard fire

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Media captionThe road was shut between junction 1 at Brent Cross and junction 4 at Elstree, Hertfordshire, at about 0430 BST

The M1 in north London has been shut following a fire at a scrapyard.

London Fire Brigade (LFB) said the fire beneath the motorway, between junctions 2 and 3, was now under control and gas cylinders had been cooled.

The Highways Agency said parts of the motorway could remain closed until midday on Saturday. It is assessing the bridge at the Mill Hill site.

The road was shut between junction 1 at Brent Cross and junction 4 at Elstree, Hertfordshire, at about 0430 BST.

At its height about 40 firefighters tackled the blaze close to Ellesmere Avenue and about 50 people from nearby homes were evacuated.

LFB said crews were still at the scene to ensure any remaining pockets of fire were out. There were no reports of any injuries, it said.

Trains were also disrupted from 0520 BST, for about two hours on Friday, but Southeastern and First Capital Connect services have now returned to normal.

Drivers heading into and out of London have been advised to use alternative routes and to expect significant delays.

The Highways Agency is assessing a 6.5-mile stretch of the road, including a bridge between junctions 1 and 4 to see if there has been any severe damage.

The disruption on M1 could affect people who plan to drive down to Wembley Stadium for the FA cup semi-final game between Manchester United and Manchester City.

A Highways Agency spokesman said: "We are working as fast as we can to reopen the road as soon as it is safe to do so."

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