The M40 was closed during the late evening of Wednesday 21st September 2016 after a 96 tonne mobile crane travelling on the Southbound carriageway exploded and caught fire between Junction 2 (Beaconsfield) and Junction 1a (M25 interchange).
The fire left motorists trapped on the motorway while firefighters tackled the blaze. The motorway partially re-opened early on the morning of Thursday 22nd September 2016 however lane 1, nearest the hard shoulder, remained closed all day due to it sustaining damage.
Firefighters were called to the incident at 9.27pm. Six fire appliances with crews attended the incident, these were comprised of two fire appliances from Beaconsfield fire station, one from Gerrards Cross fire station, two from High Wycombe fire station, one from Princes Risborough fire station, one from Langley fire station and one from Maidenhead fire station. Four officers were also present at the scene.
Compressed air foam, main jets, hose reels, breathing apparatus and a water tanker were used by the firefighters during the operation to extinguish the fire.
The cause of the fire is believed to be as a result of a leak of hydraulic fluid from the crane.
Resurfacing of the carriageway is expected to commence at 10.00pm on Thursday 22nd September 2016, it is anticipated that the motorway will be open before the morning rush hour on Friday 23rd September 2016.