A huge explosion has caused severe delays on the M40 motorway near Bucks, after a mobile crane unit exploded and was “engulfed in flames” on Wednesday evening.
A busy stretch of road between junctions 2 and 1a on the approach to the M25 was closed overnight, after the crane lorry’s tyres and fuel tank caught fire at about 9.30pm, The Evening Standard reported.
Residents living nearby heard five “massive” blasts that “sounded like a bomb going off”, The Mirror reported, while TV presenter Gethin Jones, who was on the road, said he saw “terrible explosions”.
The road has been severely damaged according to police and lane 1 southbound, towards London, will remain closed all day at junction 2. No injuries are reported.
Six fire engines, 35 firefighters and a water tanker attended the scene to put out the flames.
Thames Valley Police tweeted: “M40 Southbound at J2 is currently closed due to a crane on fire. Likely to be shut for several hours please avoid the area.”
TV presenter Gethin Jones saw the explosions and tweeted: “Witnessed terrible explosions on the M40. Stuck in the tailback for an hour and not gonna be moving soon. Thoughts with those involved.”
Drivers have been warned to expect severe delays and advised to take alternative routes if possible, after reports of two-hour tailbacks.
The scorched carriageway now has to be re-surfaced tonight, a Thames Valley Police spokesman said.
Highways England said all traffic southbound was being diverted at junction 2 onto the A355 and then onto the A40. It urged people to avoid the M40 and choose alternative routes if possible.