The A1(M) has reopened after closing for much of the evening yesterday (Monday, November 20). 

A fallen power line in Newton Aycliffe meant that the road was closed for safety from 4.30 until 2.00 am. Nearly 2000 homes lost power during the incident. 

Eyewitnesses describe seeing a "sheet of flame" as the cable fell onto the motorway near Newton Aycliffe.  

The Northern Echo:

The carriageway was closed between junctions 59 (Coatham) and 60 (Bradbury), as electrical engineers from Northern Powergrid rushed to the scene.

 The incident created a large white flash which was seen miles away, while one motorist witnessed the incident unfolding. 

Doug Embleton told the Northern Echo: "My wife and I were en route from Darlington to The Glasshouse.

"Between the Aycliffe and Bishop Auckland Auckland exits, we very very suddenly drove across/over what at the time ( to my wife as passenger) seemed like a hose across the carriageway when instantly there was an immense flash of flame.

"Traffic carried on albeit it felt like we were at the “ epicentre” of the flame.

"It was immensely sudden - as it were, 'over in a flash'."

Eric Norton said: "There was a large green flash seen over Newton Aycliffe following closely by what I can only describe as the biggest flash of light I have seen - starting as a large flash of white light that changed to a brilliant yellow that lasted for over 5 seconds.

The Northern Echo:

"The the orange light was huge and sat in the sky over Newton Aycliffe's industrial estate.

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"I just hope no one has been hurt or injured."

A spokesperson for National Highways said: "The fallen power lines that closed the A1M in both directions between J59 (Newton Aycliffe) and J60 (Bradbury) have now been safely cleared from the carriageway.

"The road has been reopened in both directions with residual delays in the area now clear."