M1 motorway closed near East Midlands Airport after lorry fire

The fire on the M1 Image copyright Nicola Bickley
Image caption The fire took hold at about 8:30 BST on Thursday on the M1

The M1 north near East Midlands Airport has been closed all day following a lorry fire in rush hour.

The northbound carriageway in Leicestershire was closed from about 8:30 BST on Thursday and it is not known when it will reopen.

The blaze was so ferocious it damaged tarmac and safety barriers forcing the Highways Agency to carry out repairs.

It is believed the cause was an electrical fault in the lorry's engine. Nobody was injured in the fire.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, with the police, closed the motorway between junction 22 to Coalville, and junction 23a to East Midlands Airport with a 20-mile diversion in place.

Image copyright Leicestershire police
Image caption Firefighters from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service were at the scene of the fire for most of Thursday

Firefighters remained at the scene for most of the day putting out the lorry, which was carrying mattresses, before helping with recovery work.

Drivers who were caught in traffic behind the fire were forced to wait on the tarmac for several hours before firefighters opened one lane at about noon.

But shortly afterwards it was closed again to allow for an inspection of the damage to the road.

The fire also caused severe delays on the southbound carriageway as drivers stopped to look at the accident.

East Midlands Airport said the fire did not affect any flights.

Image copyright @philpip75
Image caption All lanes north were closed for several hours and traffic was slow heading south

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