Huge tanker fire on M56 not declared as major incident for 46 minutes, documents reveal

Huge tanker fire on M56 not declared as major incident for 46 minutes, documents reveal

Debriefing meetings held after incidents on stretch of motorway near Runcorn

Emergency crews dealing with a huge tanker fire on the M56 did not declare a major incident until 46 minutes after it was reported, documents reveal.

The incident, which happened on the M56 between junction 12 at Runcorn and 14 at Hapsford on August 10 last year, left thousands of motorists stranded as the road was closed for seven hours.

No injuries were reported but a 1,500 metre cordon was set up around the propane gas tanker and residents in Helsby were ordered to stay indoors.

Debriefing notes show that the fire was reported at 2.56pm, but it wasn’t until 3.42pm that a major incident was declared – 29 minutes after it had been given “major incident standby” status.

Minutes of the Cheshire Resilience Forum, made up of senior commanders for police, fire, highways and other organisations, recorded a catalogue of problems on the day, including confusion over which railway line was affected by the incident and issues with communications between the emergency services.

Original source: Liverpool Echo

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