M6 closed as huge lorry fire sparks fears of exploding fruit

The M6 has been closed in both directions in north Staffordshire after a large lorry fire sparked fears of exploding fruit.

A lorry carrying canned fruit overturned and burst into flames on the southbound carriageway at around 3pm this afternoon.

Highways England has warned the ‘popping’ tins could explode and send shrapnel flying at vehicles.

A digger has been brought in to remove the cans, as officers from the Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service fight to extinguish the blaze.

Both carriageways between junction 14 for Stafford North and junction 15 for Hanchurch are shut.

Drivers are being diverted along the A500 through Stoke-on-Trent and the A34 as they attempt to get back onto the M6. It is not known when the road will reopen.

A Highways England spokesman said: ‘The M6 in Staffordshire is closed northbound between junctions 14 and 15 due to a collision and a vehicle fire.

‘It is also blocked southbound while emergency services work at the scene alongside Highways England traffic officers.

‘Please allow extra time for your journey if travelling in the area or consider alternative routes.”

A fire service spokesman said: ‘We are still in attendance on the M6. A digger is now in use emptying the lorry’s contents onto the road for full extinguishment and disposal. The motorway remains closed for safety reasons.’

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