A1 closed near Newark after fatal fire crash

A1 crash
Image caption The fatalities are believed to have been in the van, police said

Two people have been killed in a road crash which closed a main route through the East Midlands.

The collision happened on the A1 at Claypole, south of Newark, on the border of Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire at about 05:30 BST.

A lorry and a van carrying gas cylinders caught fire and a large plume of smoke covered both carriageways.

The fatalities were both in the van but have not yet been named. The lorry driver was unhurt.

The southbound carriageway reopened shortly before 12:00 but the northbound road is likely to be closed for the rest of the day.

Mike Barton, from the Highways Agency, said: "It was a very serious accident and that means the police have to do their accident investigations.

"Because of the nature of the fire it means we will have to resurface the road and we won't be able to reopen it until late this evening."

Diversions are in place and motorists are being asked to avoid the area. Officers have appealed for witnesses to come forward.

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