Leeds & West Yorkshire

M1 in West Yorkshire covered in smoke from lorry fire

@olliejb1981 Image copyright @olliejb1981
Image caption Traffic queues built up very quickly on approaches to the blazing lorry

Thick palls of black smoke from a burning lorry caused the closure of the M1 motorway in West Yorkshire.

The vehicle caught fire at the Lofthouse Interchange at junction 42 on the southbound carriageway shortly after 16:00 GMT.

Highways officials initially closed both north and southbound carriageways of the motorway as a precaution.

Highways England advised motorists to consider using the A1M going south.

Image copyright @GazRowntree
Image caption The lorry fire eventually closed both carriageways of the M1 in West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service sent four crews to the scene and earlier Highways England said traffic queues approaching the area were about 4.5 miles (7km) long.

The northbound carriageway was fully reopened shortly before 18:00, but a section of the southbound side is to remain closed overnight for repairs to fire damage to the road surface.

Image caption The blazing vehicle closed the motorway at rush hour on Wednesday

Highways England said: "The diversion is to leave the M1 for the M62 and then rejoin the M1 from the roundabout.

"We apologise for the ongoing delays in this complex incident."

Image copyright Ian White/BBC

BBC Look North reporter Ian White took a video from near to the site, showing smoke covering the area.

Image copyright Ian White/BBC
Image caption The thick black smoke could be seen pouring from the burning vehicle

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