Five teenage boys arrested over M1 scrapyard fire

M1 closure at Mill Hill on 15 April 2011
Image caption The fire caused widespread disruption on the M1, with a seven-mile stretch affected

Five teenage boys have been arrested in connection with the scrapyard fire that closed the M1 in both directions for several days.

A blaze under an elevated section of the motorway in Mill Hill, north London, saw lanes closed between junctions 1 and 4 on 15 April.

The fire caused widespread disruption, with a seven-mile stretch affected.

The boys, aged between 14 and 17, have been arrested in connection with the M1 fire and two other blazes in Mill Hill.

They were arrested in a series of raids across Barnet and Harrow, in north London, on Wednesday morning.

Further closures

Police said the other fires being investigated took place between 14 and 15 April and between 15 and 16 April in Moat Mount Open Space.

Det Ch Insp Mark Roycroft said: "Although we are pursuing a number of active leads into these fires we would still ask that anyone who has any information about these crimes contact Barnet police.

"Your information could be invaluable to the investigation and bringing those responsible to justice."

London Fire Brigade (LFB) has said the blaze beneath the M1 appeared to have been started deliberately.

The fire-damaged section of the motorway fully reopened six days after the blaze. Further closures may be needed in the future so permanent repair work can be carried out.

The problems caused by the blaze have led the government to carry out an audit of roads and railways at possible risk from industrial accidents.

The Highways Agency and Network Rail will provide details of all sites where activities below or near roads and railways take place.

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