A serious lorry fire that forced a section of the M25 to close caused traffic chaos yesterday.

The lorry carrying cooking oil and foodstuff flipped and spilled its contents on the carriageway - which then caught fire.

The motorway was shut anti clockwise between junction 23 and junction 21a for several hours while emergency services battled the flames and repaired the melted carriageway.

One driver who saw the explosion said:  "I was eight cars back when the lorry and cars exploded.

"The lorry was to the side of the road with a car at a 90 degree angle to it and something else in front.

"Cars were trying to pass them both in the ‘fastest’ lane but when the flames went up and the banging noises started everyone stopped and waited for three or four fire engines and nine police vehicles."

Jessie Lou, also stuck in the jam, tweeted:  "Everyone avoid the M25 massive explosion!"

Willie Devine added: "Basically trapped on a motorway. Left work over three hours ago. #M25"

The incident happened at about 3.20pm and caused massive delays for commuters during the evening rush hour.

The Highways Agency stated at 8pm yesterday: "The M25 anti-clockwise has reopened between junction 23 and 21a.

"We have worked hard to complete the resurfacing work ahead of schedule."

Structures engineers were at the scene assessing damage to the road and an overhead gantry.
A police investigation has been opened to find out the cause of the fire.

The M25 was closed anti-clockwise between junction 23, which provides access to the A1(M), and junction 21a, which gives access to the M1.