M56 closed in both directions as fire crews tackle lorry blaze


THE M56 was closed in both directions on Wednesday evening, resulting in a lengthy closure as fire crews tackled a blaze involving a large haulage vehicle causing significant amounts of black smoke.

At 19:38 two crews attended the incident on the M56 eastbound between junctions 12 (Runcorn) and 14 (Hapsford).

North West Fire Control received multiple reports of a fire involving the large goods vehicle on the hard shoulder of the M56. The fire caused a significant amount of thick smoke and crews requested that both carriageways be closed while they dealt with the incident.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used hose reel water jets to tackle the blaze. Motorists were advised to avoid the area.

UPDATE 21:00 | Crews are making good progress in tackling the fire. Both carriageways remain closed and motorists are advised to avoid the area. It is likely firefighting operations will continue for some time. Further updates to follow.

UPDATE 22:00 | Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are using hose reel water jets to fully extinguish the fire. The smoke plume is now much-reduced. It is believed the vehicle was carrying a quantity of top soil and cardboard waste. The driver has been accounted for and is safe and well. The motorway is likely to remain closed for some time to come. Please refer to online traffic updates for further information.

UPDATE 22:15 | The police will shortly be reopening two lanes of the westbound carriageway with speed restrictions.
UPDATE 06:30 | By dragging the contents of the lorry onto the carriageway, crews were able to access the burning material and fully extinguish it. The vehicle was removed from the scene shortly before 03:00. We were in attendance for around seven and a half hours. This morning, one lane of the motorway eastbound remains closed to allow for resurfacing.


The fire on the M56
Picture: National Highways


Picture Cheshire Fire & Rescue


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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Chair of Warrington Healthwatch Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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