M1 closed after lorry leaves carriageway and bursts into flames

Lorry fire north bound on the M1
Lorry fire north bound on the M1
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A LORRY burst into flames after crashing into another vehicle and careering off the M1 motorway, closing the road northbound for hours.

Drivers described a huge plume of smoke rising from the scene after the white DAF LGV hit a yellow Mercedes incident support unit, then veered off the carriageway between junctions 36 and 37.

James Barrett, from Bolton-upon-Dearne, told The Star: “I joined the M1 at Barnsley and straight away I could see a massive plume of smoke pouring up into the air.

“A fire engine tore past me and as I approached the site of the fire I could see a lorry had crashed off the road and into the trees.

“The heat was really intense. As I passed by there were a few minor explosions. I don’t know if it was the fuel tank going up or if the lorry was carrying something flammable.”

The lorry driver, a 64-year-old man from Gainsborough, Lincs, was taken to hospital and treated for cuts and bruises to both arms.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said he had swerved to avoid some traffic cones and clipped the other lorry before crashing. Around 15 firefighters battled the blaze.