M25 closed in Essex by lorry chemical spill

Chemicals on M25
Image caption The fire service said it would take several hours to clean up the road

A section of the M25 in Essex was closed for 10 hours after chemicals spilled on to the road.

Motorists told police containers fell from a lorry on the clockwise carriageway near Theydon Bois at about 05:00 BST.

The spillage was near the Bell Common tunnel and the M11 junction.

Two lanes between junctions 26 and 27 reopened at 15:00 BST, with the road open fully by 16:45 BST. The driver was charged and is due in court on Monday.

The BBC travel unit said there were long delays back to junction 24 at Potters Bar even after the road reopened.

Tottenham Hotspur delayed the kick-off in their Premier League game at home to Southampton by half an hour to give supporters enough time to get to White Hart Lane.

Driver in custody

Police said they had reports that several containers had fallen from a lorry and hit the central reservation.

It was originally thought the spill involved about 3,000 litres of a chemical liquid, but the fire service said it was 775 litres of non-hazardous petroleum distillates.

Chemicals specialists were called in, with the Environment Agency carrying out the clean-up.

The 43-year-old driver of the lorry has been charged with two counts of endangering others while using a vehicle with an insecure load.

He has been detained in police custody and will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court on Monday.

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