M1 Motorway closed at Cooranbong after truck explosion starts bushfire

SIGNIFICANT delays are expected on the M1 Motorway at Cooranbong after a tanker reportedly exploded, causing an “out of control” fire to spread into nearby bushland.

Emergency services have closed the motorway in both directions, and diversions are in place at the Mandalong Road exit, for motorists travelling north, and the Palmers Road exit, for those travelling south.

Police and firefighters were called to the scene, between Mandalong and Palmers roads, shortly after 1pm on Monday.

The Rural Fire Service said another vehicle caught fire which later spread and ignited a bushfire.

The Westpac rescue helicopter has also been dispatched to the scene.

A tanker has caught fire on the M1 Motorway at Cooranbong. The motorway is closed in both directions. Picture: Wayne Lea

A tanker has caught fire on the M1 Motorway at Cooranbong. The motorway is closed in both directions. Picture: Wayne Lea

Motorists were urged to avoid the area and delay their journey on the M1.

The Transport Management Centre said south-bound traffic was already queued for four kilometres, while north-bound traffic was queued for three kilometres.

Traffic is also heavy in Morisset.

Smoke is reducing visibility in the area and firefighters are battling to put out spot fires.

A vehicle caught on fire, which spread to nearby bushland. Picture: NSW Rural Fire Service

A vehicle caught on fire, which spread to nearby bushland. Picture: NSW Rural Fire Service

Police said they were unable to confirm the exact details of the incident at this time.