Lorry causes traffic chaos as it spills 32,000 litres of gin onto road in middle of rush hour

Fed-up motorists needed a tonic after they were stuck in 11-hour traffic jams when a lorry spilled 32,000 litres of gin on a motorway during rush hour. 

Published 5th Sep 2019
Updated 18 th Sep 2023

Traffic was brought to a standstill on the M6 after two lorries crashed in Cheshire at 5.30pm on Wednesday (4 September).

Motorists between junctions 19 at Knutsford and junction 20 at Lymm Interchange suffered hours of delays.

There were three miles of queues while rescue teams used sand to soak up the 80 per cent proof booze from the carriageway.

Motorists were warned to stay away from the area over concerns the super-strong alcohol could ignite.

Picture: SWNS

Writing on Twitter, motorist Rachel Sargeant said: "Been sat on the M6 for two hours so far.

"[I am] 200 yards away from 32,000 litres of spilt gin!

"Heartbreaking that I don't have a straw."

Writing on Facebook, driver John Thomas, 45, said: "Well that certainly gives a new twist to the phrase 'one for the road!' "Currently pouring myself huge G&T after monstrous journey home. Somehow seemed the most appropriate thing to do."

Highways England said the spillage "required entensive cleanup work".

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

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"Firefighters are currently working hard to stem the leak.

"Crews are also coating the spilt alcohol with foam to prevent it from igniting. "
The concentrated gin leaking from the tanker was a whopping 80 per cent proof - almost twice as much as normal gin.

There were no reports of injuries and the northbound carriage was eventually re-opened at 4.30am on Thursday.

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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