A tanker fire which closed the M6 between junctions 16 and 17 this afternoon (April 6) is believed to have been caused by a blown-out tyre.

A stretch of the motorway near Sandbach had to be closed in both directions while firefighters tackled the blaze, which was reported to emergency services at 2pm.

The driver of the tanker managed to get out of the vehicle before the fire broke out, according to North West Motorway Police.

A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "The tanker was carrying a large quantity of diesel and the fire is believed to have started due to a blown-out tyre.

"Crews were able to stop the fire from spreading to the load and used one main jet and foam on the flames."

There is still heavy traffic in the area while recovery work is conducted and motorists are advised to find alternative routes.

Diversions are in place - with vehicles approaching junction 16 being diverted onto the A500.

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