AN HGV trailer caught fire on the M5 in North Somerset on Monday, April 15, leaving the motorway closed in both directions.

The incident initially closed the M5 northbound from J19 Portishead to J18 Bristol at around 3pm, but the southbound carriageway was also soon closed as smoke poured from the continued blaze.

The lorry itself could be seen detached from the trailer, which still ablaze almost an hour later had create a thick plume of smoke over the stretch of motorway.

An eyewitness said: "Massive fire on the M5. Traffic officer has closed it right in front of us! Closed southbound and northbound near Avonmouth."

At 4:28pm, southbound traffic was released, and the southbound carriageway re-opened at around 5pm.

Read more: Six miles of congestion as M5 re-opens after HGV trailer fire

A spokesperson for Avon Fire and Rescue said: "Crews from Avonmouth, Portishead, Patchway, Pill and Southmead were called to reports of a lorry fire at 14:51 on the M5 Junction 18-19.

"Upon arrival, crews located a fire on a HGV trailer.

"Crews used four breathing apparatus, two high pressure hose reel, one thermal imaging camera, one extension ladder and cutting gear to extinguish the fire."