A CATALOGUE of freakish incidents led to chaos on the M62.
Problems began when a lorry which had just been rebuilt after a crash caught fire on the moorland stretch near Scammonden at 2.40pm yesterday.
The westbound carriageway was shut for an hour, leading to tailbacks stretching back 22 miles past Leeds.
And when firefighters tried to get to the stricken vehicle they came across a breakdown truck which had itself broken down.
The truck was carrying a car and was blocking the hard shoulder.
Watch Manager Tony Stansfield from Elland fire station said: “The carriageway was bumper to bumper all the way so when we came across the breakdown truck on the hard shoulder it really held us up.
“In the end we had to shove it onto the grass so we could get past.’’
When the firefighters reached the burning lorry near Stott Hall Farm the cab was well alight.
Watch Manager Stansfield added: “The trailer was empty and the driver had bravely tried to unhook the cab from the trailer, but was forced back by the heat and flames.’’
Thick, acrid smoke was drifting across the carriageway.
The white Daf lorry is registered to a Huddersfield company and the driver had just picked it up after extensive repair work. It had 1,600 litres of fuel on board and diesel was spilled across the carriageway.
Fire crews from Huddersfield, Elland and Halifax tackled the blaze and one engine had to go all the way down the valley into Ripponden to fill up with more water.