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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Tanker fire causes motorway chaos
Motorway fire
Firefighters took more than an hour to control the fire
Motorways around Bristol were thrown into chaos on Tuesday when a tanker containing 30,000 litres of petrol was set ablaze.

Fire broke out on the vehicle just before 0700 BST on a roundabout above junction 18 of the M4.

The driver, who was uninjured, got out of the cab, as the fire sent smoke billowing 30 metres up into the air.

Police closed the roundabout in all directions, causing long tailbacks on surrounding roads.

It took six fire crews more than an hour to get the fire under control and the junction, which is the main turn-off for Bath, was re-opened just before 0900 BST.

Avon Fire Service has started an investigation into the fire which reduced the tanker to a burnt-out shell.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said early reports suggested the fire had started when one of the tanker's wheels ignited.

The driver may have spotted the flames on board while on the M4 itself.

"He may have very courageously got off the motorway to get to a slightly safer environment than might have been, had it happened on the motorway itself," a fire brigade spokesman said.


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12 Apr 02 | England
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