It is not clear what caused the blaze (Picture: BBC Essex)

Thick plumes of black smoke filled the air after a fuel tanker set alight on a busy road in south Essex this evening.

The A130 Canvey Way has been closed at Sadlers Farm due to the inferno, with traffic expected to be affected for some time.

It is still not clear what triggered the blaze or whether anyone has been left injured.

Helen Davis, who is stuck in traffic, told the Echo she saw five fire engines and that police were telling drivers to turn around.

Eyewitnesses said they could see the smoke rising into the sky roughly 11 miles way from Southend Pier.

Describing it as an ‘absolutely horrendous sight’, Courtney Christina Andre said: ‘I hope no one is hurt, it looks very aggressive, and the smoke seems never ending!’

This is a breaking news story – more to follow.

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