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Home   Kent   News   Article

Lorry fire causes delays on M20

30 November 2012
by Danny Boyle

Flames lick the skyline after a lorry caught fire on the M20

Flames lick the skyline after a lorry caught fire on the M20. Picture: Kent_999s on Twitter

This is the dramatic moment a lorry become an inferno on the M20 last night.

A stretch of the motorway was closed for more than six hours when the HGV burst into flames near Folkestone.

Long delays built as flames licked the skyline from the lorry, carrying large rolls of plastic insulation.

Firefighters battled to control the blaze as the road was shut London-bound from junction 12 for Cheriton to junction 11 for Hythe.

Traffic was being diverted along the A20 from about 5.15pm, when it was first closed.

One lane of the M20 was re-opened at about 11pm, but two lanes remained shut while work began to remove the lorry and resurface the road.

All lanes were re-opened at 3.30am, but the hard shoulder will remain closed into this morning for further inspection.

Video: Smoke billows across the M20 as crews battle the lorry blaze

The drama came just hours after a fire in the Channel Tunnel led to Eurotunnel services being suspended for several hours.

This added to motorists' traffic woes, with J11a for the tunnel shut for a time last night because of heavy congestion.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said crews were called at 5.15pm.

Around 25 firefighters using breathing apparatus and foam managed to bring the blaze under control by about 9.30pm.

However, crews were called back at about midnight when the lorry reignited while being moved from the motorway.

Firefighters battle the lorry blaze on the M20. Picture: Stewart Johnson

Firefighters battle the lorry blaze on the M20. Picture: Stewart Johnson

Witness Stewart Johnson was stuck at the head of the traffic jam.
 
He claimed a lorry containing a hazardous load had caught fire on the hard shoulder after its brakes overheated.

He added: "The fire reached the height of a nearby lamp post which eventually melted."

Kent Police said the lorry driver suffered a minor hand injury.

Traffic builds during the M20 lorry fire

Traffic builds during the M20 lorry fire. Picture: Kent_999s on Twitter

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