A RAGING fire gutted a car on the M40 in Oxfordshire and caused major delays for drivers.

Easter Sunday traffic was made worse by a closure on the southbound carriageway yesterday, prompted by the blaze.

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Flames took hold of the car half way between Junction 9 (Wendlebury) and Junction 8A (Wheatley services), at about 4pm. 

Oxford Mail:

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service pic of the wreckage

The burnt-out shell of the car and scorched grass next to it was visible on the roadside as traffic was gradually allowed past.

Oxford Mail:

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service shared this photo of the smoke

A huge smoke plume was visible as vehicles queued for miles behind the incident, billowing across the blue skies.

Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service posted dramatic images of the blaze on Facebook, and said the four people who were inside the car had 'fortunately' managed to get out safely.

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The post added: "Firefighters were able to extinguish the car, grass and a small running fuel fire on the road.

"Colleagues from Highways England assisted the occupants to the services to safety and all lanes were reopened after approximately 90 minutes."

Crews from Bicester and Rewley Road in Oxford attended.

It was the second car fire the service reported on at the weekend, following another destructive blaze in Barnard Gate near Witney.

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The fire completely engulfed a white vehicle at about 6.20am on Saturday, just moments after the driver managed to get out safely.

Anyone concerned about the safety of their car can use the Government's online tool, which checks if a certain vehicle, part or accessory has been recalled due to a potential fault.

The fire service did not state what is thought to have caused the M40 fire, nor the make or model of the car.

In what appeared to be an unrelated incident on the same stretch of the M40 yesterday, this time at the Wheatley services, there was also a 'serious' collision.

Thame Fire Station tweeted about the crash shortly after 2.30pm and warned motorists that road closures would be in place for 'considerable' time.

About half an hour before, Highways England had also reported that the Junction 8A slip road was closed due to a 'police incident.'

Emergency services have been contacted for further information.