Sunderland LIVE news: Collision closes Leechmere Road and fire breaks out at former police station plus other breaking updates on Thursday, February 20

We’ll be bringing you the latest traffic and travel updates throughout the day.

Hello and welcome to today’s live blog, where we will bring you all the latest news from across Wearside. If there is anything you think we should know about, get in contact with us via social media.

We will bring you the latest news and traffic updates from across the region.

Sunderland live news for Thursday, February 20

Key Events

  • Firefighters tackle blaze at former Farringdon Police Station
  • A1(M) Northbound was closed for several hours between J63 for Chester-le-Street and J64 for Washington following an emergency service incident.
  • The fire service confirmed the incident involved a transporter vehicle carrying hydrogen cylinders which are venting off.
  • The motorway has now reopened and traffic is flowing freely.
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7.50am: Fire service update on A1(M) incident

7.55am: Drivers urged to take alternative route after A1(M) incident

8.34am: Hour long delays on A1(M)

9am: Long delays as A1(M) junction closed as firefighters tackle leaking hydrogen tanker

A section of the A1(M) northbound has been closed due to a hydrogen leak on a broken down tanker.

The motorway is currently closed between Chester-le-Street and Washington (junction 63 to 64) as emergency services deal with the incident.

Firefighters and police were called to the incident in the early hours of the morning, Thursday, February 20, and remain at the scene.

Highways England Traffic Officers are also in attendance and the road is expected to be closed for most of the day.

9.20am: Slow traffic on A19 northbound

We are getting reports of heavy traffic on the A19 northbound around the A690 Durham Road (Herrington Interchange).

There is congestion up to Seaton Interchange.

The cause is expected to be due to normal morning delays not helped by traffic diverting the A1(M) which is affecting traffic between North Hylton and Seaton. 

Slow traffic on A19.

9.30am: One lane blocked on A19 Sheraton after crash

One lane is blocked and traffic is queuing due to a four-vehicle crash on the A19 Northbound from A179, Sheraton junction, to the A181, Castle Eden Interchange. 


9.45am: Fire service releases images of tanker on A1(M)

The tanker on the A1(M) which is leaking hydrogen.

Emergency services are still in attendance at an incident on the A1 northbound junction 63 involving a transporter vehicle carrying nine hydrogen gas cylinders.

A fire crew from High Handenhold are carrying out regular analytical risk assessments whilst waiting for a specialist engineer to attend the scene to make the cylinders safe.

The road is expected to be closed until later this afternoon.

Drivers are advised to find an alternative route, diversions are in place. The southbound carriageway is still open.

10.45am: Additional closure of A1(M) junctions

11.15am: A1(M) update - specialist engineers at the scene

11.35am: A1(M) update - J62 remains closed

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