M4 misery for thousands of drivers stuck in TWO-hour queues in suffocating 83F heat

This is the shocking moment when a Waitrose truck caught fire on a busy highway that caused thousands of drivers to get stuck in two-hour queues in suffocating 83F heat.

Holidaymakers hoping for a quick escape ahead of the weekend’s expected 88F heatwave endured long queues on the highway after the truck’s cab was fired, leaving authorities with no choice but to close both the eastern and westbound lanes.

In the 20-second clip, the driver and several other motorists slowly approach the burning remains of the vehicle after there were several explosions from gas cylinders on board.

The entire cab of the wagon and the front of the trailer are completely engulfed in flames, and plumes of black smoke can be clearly seen rumbling out.

When the driver reaches the front of the HGV, the raging flames can be seen crawling up to five meters high. There were no reported injuries.

The entire cab of the truck and the front of the trailer are completely engulfed in flames, and plumes of black smoke can be clearly seen rumbling out

In the 20-second clip, the driver and several other motorists slowly approach the burning remains of the vehicle. The entire cab and trailer of the wagon are completely engulfed in flames, and plumes of black smoke can be clearly seen rumbling out

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service arrived at the scene to extinguish the truck, which had been torn apart

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service arrived at the scene to extinguish the truck, which had been torn apart

Thousands of holidaymakers were greeted with misery as traffic stopped near Swindon earlier today after a truck fire forced the closure of the M4 in both directions.

Both the eastbound and westbound lanes between J14 and J15 were closed after the truck fire.

Travelers were seen out of their cars and sitting with open boots or on the central reservation in the middle of a standstill – despite advice from the authorities.

In an incident report released after the fire, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire Service reported that there were ‘several explosions from gas cylinders on board’ the truck.

Millions of people are expected to head to beaches and parks this weekend with experts predicting sizzling temperatures that could peak at 88F Sunday and Monday.

A level two health alert has been issued across most of the UK, with Public Health England urging people to stay cool and support those at risk.

Thousands of drivers have been stuck in two-hour queues on the M4 in suffocating 83F heat

Truck fire forced the closure of the major highway in both directions

Thousands of drivers have recently been stuck in two-hour queues on the M4 in stifling 83F heat after a truck fire forced the closure of the major highway in both directions

Holidaymakers hoping for a quick escape before the weekend were greeted with misery as traffic stopped near Swindon earlier today

Holidaymakers hoping for a quick escape before the weekend were greeted with misery as traffic stopped near Swindon earlier today

Following reports of truck inferno, Highways England spread to Twitter to say: ‘Please go to the area with caution and if you are in stopped traffic, do not leave your vehicles.

‘Due to the nature of the fire and the contents of the truck, we are looking at starting to install full closure of the M4 in both directions between J14 and J15.

‘If you’re in trapped traffic, please carry us, we will work to get you moving soon.’

In one of the latest updates, at 15.15, the traffic monitoring site Inrix said: ‘M4 in both directions closed, traffic in queue due to truck traffic between J14 A338 (Hungerford) and J15 A346 Marlborough Road (Swindon East).

Sun seekers flock to the beach at Woolacombe in North Devon as an enchantment of scorching weather forecasts across the country begins over the weekend

Sun seekers flock to the beach at Woolacombe in North Devon as an enchantment of scorching weather forecasts across the country begins over the weekend

A sun-seeker relaxes in sunshine and warm weather in Battersea park, London, this morning at the start of a weekend of scorching temperatures

A sun-seeker relaxes in sunshine and warm weather in Battersea park, London, this morning at the start of a weekend of scorching temperatures

A graphic shows how a suffocating African heat fly will recover across the continent this weekend and bring high temperatures to much of Britain

A graphic shows how a suffocating African heat fly will recover across the continent this weekend and bring high temperatures to much of Britain

Health experts are warning the elderly and vulnerable to stay out of the sun this weekend with a heat wave expected to bring burning temperatures to 88F.

Today was the hottest day of the year in both Scotland and Northern Ireland, with 79F recorded in Aberdeen and 80F in Killowen.

The highest temperature anywhere in the UK today was in Pershore, Worcestershire, where it reached a height of 82.8F – just shy of this year’s current record, 85.5F in London’s Bushy Park on 14 June.

And meteorologists in particular predict that the UK will sizle further further Sunday and Monday, but mercury is likely to remain around the 77F mark for the rest of the month.

The soaring temperatures are being created as a result of an expansion of the Azores high – an African heatwave that will find its way through Europe in the coming days.

Young Freddie, 4, (wearing sunglasses) and Charlie, 3, are having fun building sand castles in the glorious sunshine of Sandhaven Beach in South Shields, South Tyneside this morning

Young Freddie, 4, (wearing sunglasses) and Charlie, 3, are having fun building sand castles in the glorious sunshine of Sandhaven Beach in South Shields, South Tyneside this morning

Crowds flock to Bournemouth Beach in Dorset on Friday afternoon at the start of a sizzling weekend across the UK

Crowds flock to Bournemouth Beach in Dorset on Friday afternoon at the start of a sizzling weekend across the UK

Sunbeams in Brighton enjoy the rays this morning at the start of what is expected to be a buzzing weekend across the UK

Sunbeams in Brighton enjoy the rays this morning at the start of what is expected to be a buzzing weekend across the UK

While millions will flock to beaches and parks around the country to enjoy the sun, Public Health England (PHE) has issued a thermal health warning urging the public to take steps to stay cool and support those who may be at risk in warm weather.

Will Lang, head of civil preparedness at the Met Office, added: ‘Across most parts of the UK, we expect to see temperatures build up and reach heatwave thresholds across most of the UK over the weekend.

‘High temperatures will remain part of the forecast until Tuesday, when fresher conditions will limit the heat wave level.’

Alex Burkill, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said the level two alert level covers all parts of England except parts of the North East, North West and London and should last until Tuesday.

He said the highest temperatures would be ‘widespread across most of the UK when we go through the end of the week and out on the weekends’.

Thousands of drivers have recently been stuck in two-hour queues on the M4 in stifling 83F heat after a truck fire forced the closure of the major highway in both directions

Thousands of drivers have recently been stuck in two-hour queues on the M4 in stifling 83F heat after a truck fire forced the closure of the major highway in both directions

Highways England has since indicated that normal traffic conditions will not return until after 1 p.m.  17 (truck game pictured)

Highways England has since indicated that normal traffic conditions will not return until after 1 p.m. 17 (truck game pictured)

Both lanes are closed for safety reasons. Police are working to free up trapped traffic from the scene.

‘Diversion – Eastbound traffic is diverted via Eddington towards Newbury. Westbound traffic is diverted via Marlborough towards Swindon. ‘

Dorset and the Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service also said: ‘We are currently dealing with a truck image on the M4 eastbound between J15 Swindon and J14 Hungerford.’

Highways England has since indicated that normal traffic conditions will not return until after 1 p.m. 17.

It comes as temperatures across the UK began to warm up and some areas reached suffocating heights of 83F.

The UK could see the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures expected to reach 87F this Sunday in parts of the UK – making it warmer than Ibiza.

Have you been caught in the traffic chaos? Email: [email protected]

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