Wednesday 12 December 2012 Updated: 12/12 18:12
A CHEMICAL fire has closed the M6 near Coventry.
A lorry carrying a mixture of paper and chemicals caught fire between junction 3 and 4, near Corley services, at around 9.45am this morning (Wednesday).
It was reported to have had a tyre blow-out before catching fire.
The motorway was expected to reopen at 7pm.
Ten people were treated for breathing difficulties as a result of the toxic blaze, with five of them going to University Hospital for further treatment.
Over 20 ambulance staff were on hand to deal with the incident, which has closed both carriageways.
An 800-metre cordon is in place around the fire and 118 people inside that have been taken to the nearby services.
Motorists have been stuck for hours on the motorway and the road was still closed when the Observer went to press.
The Highways Agency said road closures were in place at the M6 J2 access northbound, the M6 J3 access northbound, M6 Corley services slip between J3 and J4, M42 J7A southbound exit to M6 southbound, link road between M42 and J7A northbound and the M6 J4 southbound access.
Traffic is being advised to come off at junction two to take the A46 southbound (Coventry bypass), A45 to Toll bar island, continue along the A45 west to the A452 at Stonebridge Island and to rejoin the M6 at junction four.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Crews attended a 999 call following reports of a lorry fire on the M6 between junction 3 and 3a.
“The lorry was found to be on fire when crews arrived and toxic fumes were reportedly being released.
“Ten patients self-presented to ambulance crews at the scene. They were assessed and treated for breathing difficulties by ambulance crews before being conveyed to hospital.
“The patients were all taken to The University Hospital of Coventry and Warwickshire as a precaution for further assessment and treatment."
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