A21 reopens 15 hours after fuel tanker blaze

A road which was closed in both directions after a fuel tanker went up in flames has reopened – more than 15 hours after the blaze started. Highways England said the lorry fire on the A21, near Lamberhurst, which started shortly before midday yesterday, was “successfully resolved” at 3am this morning. A spokesman said: “The situation was successfully resolved at 3am and the A21 has now fully reopened.”

The road required resurfacing before it could be opened again and remained shut for several hours, reopening before this morning’s rush-hour. It comes after the road had to be closed in both directions after the blaze took hold on the southbound carriageway, with huge plumes of black smoke visible from several miles away.

Nobody is believed to have been injured.

The fuel tanker blaze on the A21 near Lamberhurst. Picture: Kent Fire and Rescue Service The fuel tanker blaze on the A21 near Lamberhurst. Picture: Kent Fire and Rescue Service

At its height, six fire engines were at the scene. That was reduced to two fire engines and a bulk water carrier at around 4.30pm before the Kent Fire and Rescue Service confirmed the blaze had been put out at 10pm last night.

A spokesman said: “Firefighting operations at the scene of a vehicle fire on the A21 near Lamberhurst have been completed, and the fire is now out.” Traffic had been queuing from the A262 Forstal Farm Roundabout, near Tunbridge Wells, to the B2169 Scotney Castle Roundabout. Diversions were set up through Lamberhurst via Spray Hill, High Street and School Hill.

The tattered remains of the fuel tanker.
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pPicture: Kent Fire and Rescue Service The tattered remains of the fuel tanker. Picture: Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council said some of its recycling and waste vehicles got caught up in the traffic jams and warned residents their collections could be disrupted as a result.

It urged people to leave their bins out saying refuse workers would return for them as soon as they could.

The tanker fire on the A21.
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pPicture: @tel750 The tanker fire on the A21. Picture: @tel750

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