Date Published : April 14th, 2019 Published By : adminLaois Fire & Rescue Service has criticised motorists who stopped on a motorway to take photos of a lorry fire on the M7.
The incident happened yesterday on the Eastbound lane of the M7 between J15 and J14 after 6.30pm. The motorway was closed from J15. The extent of the fire caused disruption to vehicles travelling on the Dublin, Cork, Limerick routes.
Fire crews from counties Laois and Kildare responded to the fire.
Laois County Fire and Rescue Service mobilised crews from Portlaoise (LS11) and Stradbally (LS18) stations while additional support was sent from the Monasterevin (KE15) crew from Kildare Fire Service.
While firefighters were extinguishing the blaze, motorists on the opposite side of the motorway were stopping on the carriageway and on the hard shoulder to record photos and videos of the incident.
Photo: Laois County Fire & Rescue Service on Facebook @LaoisFire
According to the fire service, at least one motorist stopped directly parallel to take a photograph at the height of the blaze. That picture was soon being shared on Social Media. Laois Fire & Rescue Service said, ‘the behaviour of some drivers who came upon the scene between junctions 14 and 15 could have made the situation a lot worse.’
A spokesperson for the fire service told the Leinster Express “Several near misses occurred during the fire with cars slowing and stopping in the far carriageway of the motorway to take pictures. It was very dangerous irresponsible behaviour. If one of the cars stopping to take pictures had ended up in a pile-up in the other carriageway it would have been a very serious situation.”
“Six or seven cars stopped in the opposite carriageway when the fire service was in attendance. Numerous cars behind them had to take evasive action,” said a spokesperson.
Plastic sheeting burning foam was used to extinguish the fire which broke out between 6.30pm and 7pm on Saturday. Firefighters extinguished the fire before working on an extensive clean-up of the scene. Gardaí, the National Ambulance Service and the Motorway Assistance unit of Transport Infrastructure Ireland also attended.
Fire services in counties Laos and Kildare have called on motorists to be more aware of road safety in such situations.