Anna Leask is senior police reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Car explodes into flames near Harbour Bridge

Holiday weekend traffic came to a standstill as a car caught fire on Auckland's northern motorway and spread quickly to large barriers and scrub.

Emergency services were called to the motorway, just outside Auckland's CBD, just after 4.45pm. Members of the public were diverting traffic as the car went up in flames, catching the high perspex barriers that line the outer lane and spreading through those to scrub.

A Fire Service spokeswoman said the car caught fire on the northern motorway near the Shelley Beach Road over bridge. No one was injured but lanes had to be closed, holding up some traffic.

It is not yet known what caused the fire.

Thick black smoke could be seen rising from the fire, as far away as the North Shore.

Witnesses took to the internet to share their experiences.

A video taken by Tam Hardley was uploaded to YouTube and showed traffic slowing to pass the car that was fully engulfed in flames and billowing black smoke.

Corey Schultz posted a photo that showed a large plume of black smoke spreading from the flaming vehicle, and Fred Koke said on Twitter that "the clear plastic sound wall is burning hard".

Traffic was moving again at a normal pace within about an hour.

- NZ Herald

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