Serious collision shuts motorway in Wigan
The North West Motorway Police tweeted that there had been a serious collision involving two vehicles on the southbound carriageway which had blocked all three lanes.
The northbound carriageway was also shut for the air ambulance helicopter to attend the scene
Highways England said the closure was between the entry and exit slip roads.
A photograph taken from a car at the junction showed a damaged tanker underneath the bridge and the emergency services at work.
Fire crews from Wigan said the driver of the jack-knifed tanker had suffered serious injuries.
Crews including a specialist technical rescue unit helped to extricate him from his cab and he was taken to hospital by the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).
Firefighters said the other vehicle involved was a gold BMW 5-Series which ended up partly underneath the precariously-tilted tanker.
They said a male driver and female passenger had been in the car and had a very lucky escape as they only suffered minor injuries.
The northbound carriageway was reopened shortly after 4pm.
However, the southbound carriageway remained shut overnight for resurfacing work.
The bridge was also inspected once the vehicles had been cleared.
The fire crews said a number of vehicles were involved in the incident as drivers slammed on the brakes to avoid the tanker.
However, these were relatively minor and there were no other serious injuries.
Some traffic was trapped on the carriageway by the incident but the vehicles were eventually able to leave the motorway via junction 27.
Accident investigators arrived at the scene around mid-afternoon.
The technical rescue unit helped to stabilise the tanker, which eventually turned out to be empty. There had been initial fears among the emergency services that it was carrying ethanol.
Motorists were advised to stay away from the area.
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