The scene of M6 HGV crash which leaked thousands of litres of gin onto motorway

Images have emerged of the crash between a lorry and tanker which saw thousands of litres of highly flammable gin spilled, shutting the M6 for hours. Photos from North West Motorway Police show how the vehicles collided on the inside lane of the busy motorway, shortly before 5.30pm last night (September 4). The M6 was shut in both directions between Junction 19 at Knutsford in Cheshire to Junction 20, the Lymm Interchange, while emergency services worked at the scene

The tanker was carrying 32,000 litres of concentrated gin, of which an estimated 8,000 litres at least, leaked across the carriageway. Diversions were put in place, as queues stretched back for miles, with some vehicles stationary at the scene for hours. Cheshire fire chiefs warned the concentrated gin leaking from the tanker, said to have an alcohol content of 80%, was highly flammable, posing a risk of explosion if it had ignited.

The lorry and tanker involved in M6 collision where 32,000 gallons of flammable gin spilled onto M6

A Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said at the time: “Firefighters are currently dealing with a spillage of flammable liquid on the M6 near Knutsford.

“The road is currently closed in both directions and motorists are advised to avoid the area.” At 9.30pm the fire service provided an update which said: “Firefighters have now been able to temporarily stem the source of the leak from the tanker. “It is estimated that around 8,000 litres of gin has leaked from the tanker so far.

“Crews have been able to contain the majority of the leaked alcohol on the carriageway using temporary dams. “Four firefighters, wearing breathing apparatus, are continuing to coat the alcohol with foam to minimise the risk if it igniting.”

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Then a further update at 10.30pm said: “A replacement tanker has now arrived at the scene and crews are about to start decanting the gin into the tanker. “Clean-up work will take place once this process has been completed.

“All trapped traffic has now been released from the scene.”

The scene of M6 HGV crash which leaked thousands of litres of gin onto motorwayAnother view of the crash on the M6 in Cheshire

Five fire engines were at the scene from Lymm, Birchwood, Northwich and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue. The stretch of motorway was still closed at midnight, but reopened this morning just after 4am (September 5). There were no reports of injuries.

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