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M6 gin crash: Motorway reopens after lorry collision

Crash Image copyright NW Motorway Police
Image caption The spilt alcohol was coated with foam to prevent the flammable liquid from igniting

The M6 has reopened after a lorry carrying 32,000 litres (7,039 gallons) of gin was involved in a crash and began leaking its cargo on to the carriageway.

The motorway was shut in Cheshire between junction 19 at Knutsford and junction 20 at Lymm following a collision between two HGVs at about 17:30 BST on Wednesday.

Emergency crews worked overnight to stop the spilt gin from igniting.

It fully reopened at about 04:30 BST.

Cheshire Police said the collision caused long delays but there were no reports of injuries.

Many motorists were stationary in their cars for about four hours as police turned people around on the northbound carriageway.

Image copyright Rachel Sargeant
Image caption The crash happened at about 17:30 BST

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said it "worked hard to stem the leak" from one of the tankers carrying concentrated gin so it could be pumped into a replacement tanker.

It said crews were also coating the spilt alcohol with foam to prevent the flammable liquid from igniting.

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A 300m (0.3km) cordon had been put in place "as a precautionary measure", the fire service added.

Image caption The crash - between junctions 19 and 20 - caused lengthy delays on the M6

One of those caught up in the tailback, Rachel Sargeant, said she had been caught up in a two-hour delay by 20:00.

She tweeted she was sitting "200yds away from 32,000 litres of spilt gin", joking it was "heartbreaking she didn't have a straw".

The "gincident" prompted a flurry of puns on social media which may have been a "tonic" for those caught up in lengthy delays.

Mr Ree 2 asked if it was in the "sloe lane" while Anthony Davies tweeted those in the traffic "just had to gin and bear it".

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