A huge explosion caused a fire to break out in a tunnel running underneath Manchester Airport.

Firefighters are currently on the scene of the blaze, which has forced the closure of both the tunnel and a nearby runway.

Pictures show heavy smoke in the tunnel, on the A538, as firefighters battle the blaze. Eyewitnesses reported hearing a loud bang, Daily Mail reports.

It is unclear at this point how the fire started. Closure was put in place after a van caught fire in the tunnel. The fire has now been extinguished.

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The van is now being recovered and firefighters are checking over the tunnel. They are aiming to reopen it soon.

Dale Beardsall was in the tunnel at the time of the fire and had to reverse out when he heard a loud bang and saw thick smoke coming out of the tunnel.

The engineer said: "I was just in the tunnel, a few cars in. There was a lot of smoke and all the traffic had stopped.

"A couple of guys ran through the tunnel, they said "get everybody to back out".

"The cars behind us made way for a middle lane so cars could get through and get out of the tunnel.

"I managed to back out of the tunnel in my car, but some people in cars in front had to get out of their cars and run out on foot."