Section of major highway in England shut down because of explosions and fire at industrial unit

Explosions and a fire at an industrial unit in northwest England prompted authorities to shut down a section of a major highway for several hours Monday morning, police said.

No casualties were immediately reported, and there was no immediate indication of the cause of the incident, reported to police at 0515GMT, at the Veolia Cleanway plant in Ribbleton, 210 miles (330 kilometers) northwest of London.

First reports of the incident indicated a number of chemical drums had exploded at the plant.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control, and authorities reopened the M6 highway between junctions 31 and 32 around 0900GMT.

Lancashire Fire Service estimated 62,000 liters (16,000 gallons) of flammable liquid waste was burning.

The waste management company, formerly known as Cleanaway UK, was bought by French firm Veolia Environment last year.