M6 closed with long delays between Preston and Wigan after lorry hits bridge and bursts into flames
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The M6 was shut both ways between junctions 27 (Standish) and 28 (Leyland) after the crash at 4.50am.
The southbound carriageway reopened at 6.40am but the northbound remains at this time.
Motorway traffic is being taken off the M6 at Standish and diverted along the A49 Wigan Road towards junction 28 in Leyland.
It is causing delays on the M61, the A49 through Charnock Richard and the A59 through Rufford as people divert around the closure.
Police said strong winds caused a lorry to hit a motorway bridge before 'bursting into flames' at around 6am.
In one picture, fire crews can be seen tackling the fire, with the lorry and its trailer nearly destroyed by the blaze.
Fortunately, the driver managed to escape from the burning cab with help from other motorists.
He has suffered a head injury and was taken to hospital by ambulance, but his injuries are not thought to be serious.
Police are asking anyone with dashcam footage to email [email protected] or call 101, quoting log 0152 of February 21, 2022.
Five fire engines and crews from Lancashire and Greater Manchester tackled the blaze in windy conditions and the fire was extinguished by 7am.
The northbound M6 remains closed between Standish and Leyland whilst police and highways deal with the aftermath of the crash.
Highways say the northbound motorway could remain closed until the afternoon for emergency repairs to the bridge and carriageway.
Drivers are being diverted along Wigan Road through Euxton to rejoin the M6 at junction 28 in Leyland, bringing heavy traffic to the local roads.
The full diversion route can be found here.
Other motorway closures
The northbound exit slip at Charnock Richard Services is also closed. This might be due to a tree blocking Preston Road near the Hinds Head pub, just off the motorway exit.
Highways say the slip road will remain closed until the northbound carriageway reopens and congestion eases, with an estimated reopening of 8.30am.
Lanes 1 and 2 on the M6 in Preston were also briefly shut after a tree fell onto the northbound carriageway between junctions 32 (Broughton Interchange, M55) and 33 (A6 Preston North/Garstang) earlier.
The fallen tree has been removed and all lanes are now open.