A MAJOR Hampshire road was closed after a lorry burst into flames.

Residents reported hearing a "loud explosion" after the vehicle caught fire - before heading to the scene to see for themselves.

The A326 was closed for up to an hour while firefighters battled the blaze.

And one lane remained shut well into rush hour - with emergency services directing traffic northbound around the burnt-out truck.

Will Biddell, 27 a salesman from Calmore said: "It sounded like a big explosion. We thought it was coming from the docks, it was pretty loud. It was quite concerning because you don’t really hear much round here."

Seventy two-yearold Vivienne Heathcote from Lyndhurst added: "I just came to Testwood Lakes to look for butterflies. I saw people looking and thought oh what’s that. You don’t expect to hear this sort of thing."

Around 20 firefighters from three fire stations helped tackle the blaze which started around 2.45pm yesterday.

Crews from Ringwood, Romsey and Eastleigh were sent to the fire, under the Loperwood bridge.

Meanwhile police were on the scene directing traffic while recovery was arranged for the lorry.

Totton Police tweeted: "Please be aware that there is a large vehicle fire on the A326 under the Loperwood Lane bridge and as a result of the smoke the A326 and Loperwood Lane will be closed until further notice.

"Please plan your journeys accordingly."

A South Central Ambulance Service spokesperson said: "The driver of the lorry was out and fine so he was assessed by the ambulance crew and paramedic in a rapid response vehicle we had sent to the location, discharged at the scene and we left the vehicle in the care of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service."

Neither police or the fire service said they had launched an investigation. A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: "They haven't expressed an interest in that. They stayed at the scene for thirty minutes to dampen down. The stop message came at 3.35pm. The lorry was 50 per cent damaged by fire."

Police said: "There is no suggestion either way at the moment whether or not this is suspicious and whether we need to investigate."