THE A1(M) remains closed in both directions near Durham today today following an horrific crash on Thursday night.

Durham Police, have confirmed that three people died in the crash involving several vehicles, including a lorry which caught fire, on the motorway at Bowburn, near Coxhoe.

A Durham Police spokesperson said: "The A1(M) between Bradbury and Carrville is expected to remain closed in both directions throughout Friday morning while our investigators continue to work at the scene.

Motorists have been urged to avoid the area and to find alternative routes.

A police spokesperson said: “The incident happened at 6.20pm on Thursday on the northbound carriageway at Bowburn.

“It involved four cars and two lorries, one of which caught fire as a result of the collision.

"Three people died at the scene - a man who was driving a Toyota Hilux and a man and a woman who were in a Vauxhall Crossland.

A 41-year-old man – the driver of one of the lorries – has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He remains in police custody.

The North East Ambulance Service had multiple resources on scene, a Hazardous Air Response Team, two ambulance crews, a specialist paramedic and three officers, with support from the Great North Air Ambulance "to treat multiple casualties alongside Police and fire colleagues".

Highways England have put diversions in place.

Northbound traffic is advised to follow the solid black square diversion symbol on road signs before exiting the A1M at Junction 60 (Bradbury Interchange) and take the third exit onto the A689 eastbound.

They should then travel east on the A689 to its junction with the A177 and join the A177 northbound. From here continue on the A177 north towards Coxhoe.

At the A688 junction (Metal Bridge) join the westbound A688. At this point follow the solid black triangle diversion symbol on road signs before continuing west on the A688 to Thinford Roundabout where you join the A167 northbound.

Drivers should then continue north on the A167 passing Durham and Chester-le-Street to re-join the A1M at Junction 63.

Drivers heading southbound are advised to follow the solid black diamond diversion symbol on road signs before exiting the A1M at Junction 63 (Chester-le-Street Interchange) and take the third exit onto the A167 southbound.

Traffic should continue travelling south on the A167 passing Chester-le-Street and Durham before joining the A688 eastbound at Thinford roundabout.

At this point drivers should follow the solid black circle diversion symbol on road signs to join the A177 south and continue south towards Sedgefield.

At the A689 junction please join the A689 westbound and continue west to re-join the A1M at Junction 60.

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