UPDATE - Car fire on Sleaford A15 bypass could have been used by harecoursers say police

The burnt out car afterwards photographed by Lincolnshire Police. EMN-160128-140038001

The burnt out car afterwards photographed by Lincolnshire Police. EMN-160128-140038001

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A car that burst into flames on the A15 Sleaford bypass last night (Wednesday) could have been involved in hare coursing, say police.

There was traffic chaos in and around Sleaford after the car caught fire on the A15 bypass just before 6.20pm.

A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “At just after 6.20pm yesterday (Wednesday) we were called by the Fire Service to reports of a Hyundai 4x4 on fire on the A15 at Sleaford, near to Holdingham roundabout.

“Upon arrival the fire had already been extinguished by firefighters. No individuals were with the vehicle at the time but it was reported to emergency services that a group of men with dogs, thought to be whippets, had got out of the vehicle. It is suspected that they may have been involved in hare coursing.

“A number of enquiries are being carried out in relation to this incident.”

A Lincolnshire Fire Service spokesman said they were called out at 6.19pm and firefighters put out the fire in the Hyundai wearing breathing apparatus and using a hose reel.

She said the fire was caused by an electrical fault in the engine.

According to social media reports, the A15 was blocked between Holdingham and Grantham Road and traffic was being held up and turning around to find another route.

Lincolnshire Police Specials tweeted last night: “Currently at a vehicle fire A15 Sleaford Bypass. Road currently closed please avoid.”

As a result the town centre became extremely congested with drivers seeking an alternative route.

This was apparently compounded by a curriculum and GCSE choices evening for parents at St George’s Academy and West Banks had been closed by Western Power Distribution to make emergency repairs to the power supply to a number of properties in the area.

A power company spokesman said they had agreed to do the repair overnight to minimise disruption as access to the fault was in the middle of the road. They had been given 24 hours by the highways authority to do the work and the road closure was being cleared away this afternoon (Thursday).

Sam Ellis Woods posted a photo of the traffic jam on Facebook last night, saying: “Westgate near St George’s...nightmare.”

Peter Honey added: “You should try being the signalman at the signalbox on King Edward Street, I’m having a nightmare with idiots blocking the crossing with trains coming.”