Laois County Fire and Rescue Services have confirmed that nobody was injured in the fire on the M7 Motorway earlier this evening that saw an articulated lorry go up in flames.
The dramatic incident occurred about 300 metres beyond Junction 15 between Portlaoise and Monasterevin near the Gandon Inn on the Dublin side of the road.
— Steven Miller (@steven_miller12) April 13, 2019
Shocking images emerged on social media as emergency services attended the scene and traffic was diverted.
Eyewitnesses described the thick black smoke that engulfed the area with traffic diverted onto the old Dublin Road and subsequent tailbacks into Monasterevin from the Ballybrittas side.
“Just to be aware, several near misses occurred during the fire with cars slowing and stopping in the far carriageway of the motorway to take pictures. Very dangerous irresponsible behaviour,” they tweeted.
They also explained that plastic sheeting caught fire and foam was used to put it out, though the cause of the fire is still unknown.
“Crews from Portlaoise, Stradbally and Monasterevin … are currently at a truck fire on the M7 Eastbound between J15 and J14,” they tweeted initially.
“Motorway closed Eastbound from J15. Plastic sheeting burning- foam used to extinguish.”
Members of An Garda Siochana and Transport Infrastructure Ireland attended the scene also.