The M6 was closed in both directions on Wednesday night and a man has been arrested due to a “major incident”, the police said.
Hundreds of motorists are still trapped between junction 15 and 16 near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire due to the closure. The southbound carriageway has now re-opened.
The major disruption was sparked by police stopping a vehicle, reportedly a lorry, which a number of people, thought to be migrants, then got out of.
A statement from Staffordshire Police said: “Officers from Staffordshire Police have stopped a vehicle on the M6 between Junctions 15 and 16 this evening (9 January) and a number of people have exited the back of the vehicle.
“A man has been arrested at the scene and is currently in police custody.”
A number of eyewitnesses have told Stoke on Trent Live that police have been pulling over and checking lorries.
Stuck on m6 closed in both directions near Keele for almost 2 hours trying to get to @Etihad_Stadium to see @ManCity v @burtonalbionfc thousands will be affected @Carabao_Cup#MCIBUR police helicopter circling above #bbcfootball@SkySportsNews@talkSPORTDrivepic.twitter.com/4SbUmYytZV
— Ray Burge (@raymondburge) January 9, 2019
HELP! Anybody got a clue as to what’s happening on M6 Northbound? We’re below Stoke J15 on way to @ManCity and it’s log jammed. We’ve had 6 unmarked cop cars 3 marked cop cars all with the blues and twos plus a police helicopter overhead. Any info greatly received! Thanks.
— David Walker (@djwskyblu) January 9, 2019
Great. M6 southbound closed at J16
At least I’ve got a nice view while I wait pic.twitter.com/dpn3Flf8ls
— George (@Georam72) January 9, 2019
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and West Midlands Ambulance Service are also in attendance at the scene.
The emergency services are still assessing the welfare of the people who exited the vehicle and will be liaising with our colleagues in Immigration Enforcement, the police said.
The southbound carriageway is now open and the northbound carriageway remains closed for the time being.
“We recognise the disruption this is causing to road users and we thank everyone for their co-operation,” the police said.