THOUSANDS of litres of gin being spilt across the M6 in Cheshire has caused traffic to come to a standstill.

A crash between two lorries has resulted in 32,000 litres of gin spilling across the carriageway and closing the motorway in both directions between J19 for Knutsford and J20 for the Lymm Interchange.

A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: “The M6 is now closed in both directions between J19, Knutsford, and J20, Lymm, following a collision involving two HGVs which had resulted in the spillage of a large quantity of highly flammable liquid. There are currently long delays and motorists are advised to avoid the area.”

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene shortly before 5.30pm to reports of a collision on the M6 northbound, near Knutsford.

Five fire engines are in attendance from Lymm, Birchwood, Northwich as well as appliances from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue.

A spokesman for the Fire and Rescue service said: "Due to the flammability of the alcohol a decision was taken to close the motorway in both directions as a precautionary measure.

"Firefighters are currently working hard to stem the leak.

"Crews are also coating the spilt alcohol with foam to prevent it from igniting."

Highways England have provided the following details of diversions for motorists.

A spokesman said: “Exit the M6 at junction 19 and join the A556 northbound towards Altrincham. Then join the M56 westbound towards Runcorn, to then re-join the M6. Follow the solid black square diversion symbol.”