Lorry goes up in flames and causes delays on the M1

A dramatic lorry fire on the M1 brought traffic to a standstill as four fire engines attended the blaze near Leeds.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service received a call shortly after 4pm on Wednesday reporting a vehicle was alight heading southbound on the motorway at Lofthouse.

The flames had spread to the nearby banking but no casualties were reported.

Footage posted to social media showed a column of fire and smoke streaming hundreds of metres into the air and enveloping nearby homes.

One witness said Robin Hood and Lofthouse, about six and a half miles south of Leeds and three and a half miles north of Wakefield, had been “plunged into darkness” as smoke billowed over buildings.

Another described “huge explosions” coming from the vehicle.

It is not clear what started the blaze or the cargo the lorry was carrying.

A spokeswoman for Highways England said the southbound carriageway of the M1 between junctions 43 and 42 will remain closed until any potential damage to the road had been assessed and the debris had been cleared.

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