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Delays after lorry motorway blaze

A lorry carrying mattresses caught fire shutting one the country's busiest motorways for much of today.

The vehicle caught fire on the northbound carriageway of the M1 in Leicestershire during the morning rush hour at about 8.30am with crews using foam to bring the blaze under control.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said it is believed the flames were sparked by "an electrical fault in the engine". Nobody was injured.

Tailbacks quickly built up but once the fire was extinguished the outside lane of the carriageway was opened for a while to allow the backlog of traffic to clear.

The northbound side of the M1 was again shut to allow engineers to carry out a damage inspection and repairs to the tarmac and safety barriers.

A Leicestershire Police spokesman said the motorway would now remain fully closed northbound between Junction 22 for Coalville and the Junction 23A turn off for East Midlands Airport until about 9pm, warning motorists of "delays throughout the evening".

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