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A11 reopens after sewage tanker catches fire

PUBLISHED: 13:17 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:23 02 August 2019

A sewage tanker caught fire on the A11. Photo: Andy Pinkney

A sewage tanker caught fire on the A11. Photo: Andy Pinkney

Andy Pinkney

The A11 has reopened after a sewage tanker fire closed the road.

A sewage tanker caught fire on the A11. Photo: Andy PinkneyA sewage tanker caught fire on the A11. Photo: Andy Pinkney

The A11 was closed in both directions at Snetterton while Norfolk Fire Service dealt with the incident. One carriageway road has since reopened.

Police said the driver of the tanker had got out of the vehicle mid way between the B111 junction at Larling and Snetterton circuit and business park junction, and there were no concerns for their safety.

Norfolk Police were called shortly after 11am and fire appliances from Attleborough, Watton, Thetford and two from Sprowston were on scene and extinguished the fire at around 11.51am.

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire Service said the fire was contained to the cab at the front of the vehicle and not the tanker itself.

A sewage tanker caught fire on the A11. Photo: Andy PinkneyA sewage tanker caught fire on the A11. Photo: Andy Pinkney

The burnt out wreck remains on the inside lane of the closed southbound carriageway, awaiting recovery.

The spokesman said: "The front of the Volvo tanker containing raw sewage is on fire, not the actual tanker.

"The diesel tank had ruptured and they are liaising to see if decanting is required."

Police have now reopened the northbound carriageway and traffic is flowing freely.

A sewage tanker has caught fire on the A11 at Snetterton. Picture: Andy PinkneyA sewage tanker has caught fire on the A11 at Snetterton. Picture: Andy Pinkney

Sue Goodwin, who works on reception at Johnson Logistics on Harling Road, said the team was alerted to the fire when clouds of smoke began forming overhead.

She said: "I noticed the smoke around 11.30 and it kept getting darker. It was difficult to tell where it was coming from and at first we thought it might be at the race course. It's not the most pleasant of things."

The receptionist said the road closure was causing problems for lorries trying to enter and leave their depot and that there was likely to be delays to the afternoon shift change.

On Heath Road, Foulger Transport said the fire was causing problems for a number of its drivers.

One employee said: "We have several drivers stuck in the traffic who are just having to sit it out. There's a chance that will mean a lot of our early shift drivers have to finish later than they should."

Highways England said there were delays of up to 15 minutes "covering several miles of the road".

"Highways England has resources deployed working hard to restore normal conditions as soon as possible," a spokesperson said.

"For traffic approaching the closure locally, you are advised to expect disruption with extra journey time and may potentially have to re-route your journey.

"If travelling towards this area from much farther afield, you may wish to change your strategic route, allow extra travel time and follow guidance from our on-road variable message signs and media.

"Road users are being diverted off the A11 to follow local routes around the closure.

"Highways England has been working closely with our emergency services colleagues Norfolk Police and Norfolk Fire & Rescue, who are leading the response to this incident."

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