AN oil spill covering almost a mile closed part of a dual carriageway for three hours.
The spill was caused by a tanker which had a leak on the A19 near Hartlepool.
The incident happened at around 6.45pm yesterday when the tanker's engine failed and the vehicle came to a stop on the northbound carriageway, just before the A179.
But before it stopped, the tanker spilled oil from the engine for almost a mile.
The engine damage caused by the leak led to a small fire but it was out by the time crews arrived from Stranton Fire Station in Hartlepool and from Stockton Fire Station.
Steve Harll, the watch manager from the Stranton Station, said no-one was injured and the tanker, which was carrying petrol, stopped on the carriageway just north of the Elwick turn-off.
He said: "We had to make the road safe for road users. There was a lot of oil on the road that was very dangerous to drivers.
"Before we closed the road there were cars skidding all over and there was the potential for a crash, but none of them did crash.
"It's dangerous because people because can't see it on the road and it was on a bend which did not help."
Police were also called and one carriageway was closed for around three hours while fire crews used a special detergent to clear the oil.