M6 closed for 11 hours south of Lancashire after 32,000 litres of GIN spill onto motorway

The M6 was closed for 11 hours south of Lancashire after tens of thousands of litres of gin spilled onto the motorway.

Thursday, 5th September 2019, 9:04 am
Updated Thursday, 5th September 2019, 10:04 am
A photo of the closure (Photo: Rachel Sargeant/@RubyRaych)

The northbound and southbound carriageway of the M6 were closed on Wednesday (August 4) between junctions 19 for Knutsford and 20 for Lymm after a crash involving two lorries.

The incident happened just before 5.30pm, which was at first just a one lane closure on the northbound closure.

But due to the large spillage, the entire carriageway in both directions was closed shortly before 6pm.

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One of vehicles involved was a tanker carrying approximately 32,000 litres of concentrated gin that was leaking onto the carriageway.

Cheshire Police has warned the public that the incident involves "highly flammable" liquid, adding: "There are currently long delays and motorists are advised to avoid the area."

There were no reports of any injuries.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue were called shortly before 5.30pm.

A photo of the closure (Photo: Rachel Sargeant/@RubyRaych)

A spokesman said the motorway was closed "due to the flammability of the alcohol", which was concentrated gin with an alcohol content of 80 per cent.

The gin was then coating with foam to prevent it from igniting.

At 8.30pm, a 300 metre cordon was put in place due to the highly flammable nature of the liquid, with a statement from Cheshire Fire and Rescue reading: "Firefighters are continuing their attempts to stem the source of the leak and a 300 metre cordon has now been established as a precautionary measure.

"Two firefighters, wearing breathing apparatus, are continuing to coat the spilt alcohol with foam to prevent it from igniting.

Queuing traffic on the M6 (Image: Highways England)

"Crews are also working to contain the leaked fluid on the carriageway in order for it to be pumped into a replacement tanker."

It wasn't until 4.30am on Thursday (September 5) that the motorway was fully reopened.

North West Motorway Police spent the majority of the 11 hour closure turning around vehicles trapped on the northbound carriageway.