THE M27 motorway has reopened this morning following the horror crash that left one dead and seven injured yesterday.

Emergency services rushed to the stretch of motorway between junctions eight and nine, near Segensworth in Hampshire, shortly after 9am following a multi-vehicle collision which saw a lorry englufed in flames.

One person was pronounced dead at the scene and seven others were taken to a hospital in Portsmouth with injuries described as non-life threatening.

The eastbound carriageway remained closed overnight as a clean-up operation was launched.

Last night police said they were still trying to identify the deceased person and enquiries were ongoing to contact their family.

As a full emergency response got underway which initially saw the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance called in to assist, police shut the motorway in both directions.

As fire crews tackled the inferno, witnessed by hundreds of drivers who were on the motorway at the time, paramedics were tirelessly helping casualties at the scene.

Seven people were treated on the motorway while a man and a 19-month-old baby were taken to hospital for medical treatment after suffering minor injuries.

The fatal crash happened close to junction nine and left thousands of people - many of them on the morning commute - stuck in jams.

As motorists tried to divert and find alternative routes all surrounding roads in Bursledon, Hedge End, Wickham, Botley and West End also became gridlocked.

Some drivers described spending six hours at a standstill as the meticulous operation to clear the scene and carry out a painstaking investigation into what happened progressed.

Witnesses described how many abandoned their cars to stretch their legs and talk to fellow motorists caught in the tailbacks.

At one point, hungry drivers took advantage of a Just Rolls catering van also in the queue which began serving up food and drink.

Engineers from the Highways Agency had to cut away a large part of the barrier near the crash scene to free the stuck drivers and reroute them onto the westbound carriageway.

Last night the effects of the tragedy continued, with the motorway still closed eastbound between junctions eight and ten as work was undertaken to repair the badly damaged stretch of road.

As rush hour took hold, there were once again reports of gridlock throughout the area as drivers tried to make their way home.