Please attribute to a Police spokesperson:
At around 3am this morning, Police were advised by Fire and Emergency New Zealand of a truck fire on the shoulder of the Southern Motorway, northbound just past the Papakura on-ramp.
The truck was carrying highly flammable gas in cannisters and these have exploded over all of the north bound lanes and into the bush on the side of the road.
The motorway is blocked but thankfully, no one was injured.
Around 15 homes were evacuated as a precaution but have since been allowed to return home.
The Southern Motorway remains closed northbound and is not expected to open for some time. There is a significant amount of debris to clean up off the road and the fire is still burning out.
There are diversions in place but as commuters will understand, this is going to cause significant delays and we would strongly advise people to avoid travelling this morning if they don’t need to.
Shelley Nahr/NZ Police