A LORRY fire which hospitalised one man caused havoc with the morning rush hour near Swindon today.

The lorry was travelling westbound along the M4 near the exit slip road at Junction 15 when its trailer set alight shortly before 7.30am.
Its driver pulled over to the hard shoulder where he detached the trailer and pulled in the cab a little further down the road.

He was later treated by South West Ambulance Service for smoke inhalation and taken to Great Western Hospital.

Royal Berkshire Fire & Rescue Service initially responded to the call, which was made at 7.30am, and dispatched two crews from Newbury and one from Hungerford.

The slip road itself was partially blocked why firefighters tackled the blaze, but the smoke was so thick it was blown across the motorway and even caused delays for those vehicles heading eastbound.

The road was eventually fully reopened at 8.55am, with the burnt out trailer recovered shortly before noon.

The lorry was carrying 12 tonnes of calcium carbonate, better known as chalk or limestone.

The driver of the HGV detached the trailer after he spotted flames coming from underneath.


Swindon Advertiser:

Traffic queues on the M4 this morning. Picture by Thomas Kelsey