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'Hot chocolate' lorry fire road reopens

The A556 in Cheshire has fully reopened after a lorry carrying a load of chocolate burst into flames.

Lorry fire
Cheshire Fire Service
Lorry fire
Cheshire Fire Service

The road closed in both directions after fire broke out at about 20:00 on Thursday.

North West Motorway Police said the driver was "safe and well".

Lorry fire
Cheshire Fire Service

Some people tweeted their chocolate-related puns once it was clear the driver was safe, with the fire service describing the job as "hot chocolate".

Beechmere fire: Residents set to get £60k donated cash

Phil McCann

Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

Residents who lost their homes in a fire at a retirement complex in August are a step closer to getting a share of nearly £60,000 raised for them.

Remains of complex after fire
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Apartments at Beechmere, Crewe, were destroyed in a blaze which left 150 mainly older people homeless.

The donations are being held by the town council which last night voted to transfer the cash to landlord Your Housing.

The move will be subject to a written agreement which stipulates the cash will be divided equally between the residents.

Five men admit robbing a series of cash machines by blowing them up with gas cannisters
Five men are jailed for using bottled gas to blow cash machines from the wall in a series of raids.

Flood water affecting roads across counties

Vanessa Pearce

BBC News

Flooding is affecting roads across the West Midlands.

  • The bridge over the River Avon is closed affecting traffic between Eckington and Birlingham in Worcestershire
  • The B5062 in Shropshire remains closed in both directions for emergency repairs to the retaining walls of the bridge
  • Gresy Lane, in Shavington, Crewe, is closed from Rape Lane to Gresty Lane.
  • New Street is closed in both directions between A4104 Old Street and Upper Hood Road in Worcestershire
  • Water Lane is closed between Lower Bullingham Lane and B4399 in Herefordshire.
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BBC Children in Need: Rickshaw Challenge on the move

The BBC Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge is already on the move and has left Crewe.

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The One Show host Matt Baker and the young riders head into Staffordshire today via Kidsgrove, Biddulph and Flash.

Children in Need: Rickshaw Challenge team reach Crewe

The Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge team have arrived in Crewe in time for the One Show on BBC One.

Day Four of the challenge stated in Oswetry about 8:30 and has taken the team through Shropshire, north Wales and Cheshire.

This was the scene in Malpas at lunchtime, as people lined the street:

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Tomorrow, the Rickshaw Challenge will head to Matlock Bath, passing through Knypersley, in Staffordshire, on the way.

Rickshaw Challenge heads from Oswestry to Crewe

BBC Shropshire

The Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge is heading through Cheshire on the way to Crewe. They're currently in Malpas, near Whitchurch.

Here's how they left Oswestry this morning.

Rickshaw Challenge leaves Oswestry

Crowds have turned out along the route to support the team, including as they rolled into Oswestry last night.

Rickshaw Challenge arrives in Oswestry
Jane Haddon

Half the town were on the road coming in, and the other half were in market square. I don't think anyone was indoors last night. It's a very special thing to be part of."

Matt Baker

Children in Need: Rickshaw Challenge passes through

A team of six young people and the BBC One Show's Matt Baker are on an eight-day challenge for Children in Need.

They're cycling 400 miles from Holyhead to London and will be passing through Shropshire and Cheshire today.

The team stayed in Oswestry overnight and set to arrive in Crewe later.

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BreakingManslaughter charges after deadly mill explosion

Allen Cook

BBC News

A firm's been charged with corporate manslaughter following an explosion at a wood processing mill where four workers died in 2015.

Bosley aftermath

Three men and a woman died at Wood Treatment Ltd in Cheshire when the four-storey building collapsed.

The Crown Prosecution Service says the company itself has been charged, while one of its directors, George Boden, 64, will also face charges on four counts of gross negligence manslaughter.

The CPS adds that Mr Boden and two other managers for the company have also been charged with health and safety offences.

Cheshire Police says all three are due to appear before magistrates on 2 December.

Flood warnings in Cheshire and Warwickshire

There's a high risk of flooding in parts of Warwickshire and south Cheshire today after the heavy rain in the past day.

Flood warnings are in place for the River Weaver near Nantwich and the River Dene at Walton, near Stratford-upon-Avon.

In both cases, the waterways are expected to stay high through the day with a risk of flooding to the surrounding areas.

Flood affected roads

BBC News Travel

Flooding caused by heavy rain on Thursday is still affecting roads around the region.

  • Flooding under the bridge has closed the A4123 New Birmingham Road in Tipton between Tipton Road and Birmingham Road.
  • The A531 Swan Bank road in Bowsey Wood Staffordshire is closed from Bowsey Wood Road to Newcastle Road.
  • The B4368 is closed in Diddlebury, Shropshire, between Mill Lane and Corfton Bache.
  • Green Lane in Oddingley Worcestershire is closed from Hulls Lane to Plough Lane.
  • This is the scene on Maw Lane, Maw Green in Cheshire which is closed between Maw Green and Haslington.
Maw Green
Mike Jennings
  • Gresty Lane is closed in Shavington, Crewe from Gresty Green Road to Rope Lane.
  • New Street is closed in Upton-upon-Severn in Worcestershire between Old Street and Upper Hook Road
  • Orchard Green in Wellington, Herefordshire, is affected between the A49 Marden turn off and Walkers Green.
  • Watery Lane in Lower Bullingham, Herefordshire is closed in both directions between Lower Bullingham Lane and B4399

Six arrests as police probe dozens of UK burglaries

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

Six men have been arrested today by detectives investigating dozens of burglaries at pubs, restaurants and shops across the UK.

Cheshire Police is looking at 39 offences across eight police force areas - in many cases safes were targeted.

They include 14 in Cheshire, 10 in Merseyside and others in places including Staffordshire, Cumbria and Wales.

The men, aged between 19 and 45, were all arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary.

Trains disrupted by flooding 'for rest of today'

BBC News Travel

Trains aren't likely to run between Crewe and Chester for the rest of the day because of flooding, National Rail Enquiries says.

Railway lines underwater
Transport for Wales

Heavy rain today's resulted in some of the tracks being under water.

Some services are being diverted, but otherwise buses are running in both directions and National Rail Enquiries doesn't expect that to change for the rest of the day.

Rail lines closed between Hebden Bridge and Manchester Victoria

Flooding has closed the rail lines between Hebden Bridge and Manchester Victoria, with commuters urged to make alternative arrangements.

Flooding on railway

Heavy rain is causing disruption across the region and customers are advised to allow extra time for travel and to check ahead.

Other routes affected include:

  • Flooding at Walsden has blocked the line between Manchester Victoria and Leeds
  • Flooding at Culcheth Farm is causing delays and cancellations to services between Eccles and Earlestown. Northern tickets will be accepted on TransPennine Express services.
  • Due to flooding at Blackpool South there are currently no services travelling to and from St Annes. Replacement coaches will be in use

For the latest train information check National Rail Enquiries.

Railway tracks flooded between Chester and Crewe

There is rail disruption between Chester and Crewe due to heavy rain flooding the tracks.

Flooding on railway line

Disruption is expected until 16:00 and services running through these stations may be cancelled, said Transport for Wales Rail in a tweet.

There is a bus replacement service in operation.

Trains cancelled as railway lines flooded

BBC News Travel

Trains are now being cancelled between Crewe and Chester due to the railway lines being flooded.

National Rail Enquiries tweeted disruption would now last until at least 14:00 and buses were replacing services "where available".

Flooded railway lines delay trains

BBC News Travel

Train passengers are facing delays between Crewe and Chester this morning due to flooded railway lines.

Disruption's expected until at least 11:00, National Rail Enquiries tweeted, and added services could be delayed by up to 25 minutes.

Flooded railway lines
The Great North Rail Project

Praise for 'courageous' police officers after river rescue

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A group of special constables have been praised for their "outstanding courage" in helping rescue a teenager who was up to his chin in flood water.

Emergency services at the river rescue
Cheshire Police

The officers were first on the scene at Waterlode, Nantwich, on 26 October, Cheshire Police said.

They spotted the 15-year-old clinging to a tree in the River Weaver and waded in with ropes to reassure and calm him until fire crews arrived.

One of the special constables, Stefan Williams, said: " I could hear him shouting ‘help me, I don’t want to die'."

The men's boss said they helped to save a young life.

“I have spoken to the Special Constabulary officers involved to convey to them, personally and on behalf of the constabulary, sincere gratitude for their outstanding courage and professionalism in helping to spare a family from the terrible loss of a child."

Special Supt Michael Mulqueen

Man burnt in horse stable fire

Lee Thomas

Newsreader, BBC Radio Stoke

A man's suffered burns in a fire at a horse stables.

Firefighters fighting fire
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Fire crews were called to Newcastle Road, Willaston, near Crewe, Cheshire, on Sunday morning and found one end of the building alight.

The fire service said no horses were in the stable at the time and a 30-year-old man was taken to hospital with minor burns to his leg.

It added the blaze was thought to have started accidentally.

Firefighters fighting fire
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service

Virgin train staff to strike on West Coast mainline

BBC Business News

Train managers on Virgin West Coast are to stage a 24-hour strike in a dispute over the dismissal of a colleague.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out on 19 November, following weeks of banning overtime.

Virgin train
Getty Images

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "I urge all Virgin West Coast members to continue their magnificent solidarity and support for our colleague who has been treated so disgracefully."

But Virgin said: "The incident which led to a train manager being dismissed for gross misconduct was widely reported on social media and involved a disabled customer who was prevented from boarding one of our trains."

In April, an autistic woman was reportedly blocked from boarding a train at Crewe station.

Virgin is set to lose the West Coast franchise from next month.