Emergency services in Leicester were battling a huge factory fire in the city centre, shutting down a number of roads due to the heavy black smoke, including the A6 St Matthews Way both ways.

Many have taken to social media to post images of the thick smoke rising into the air above the city. Some images and videos have shown buildings completely covered by the smoke and motorists have posted images of reduced visibility on the roads.

One Twitter user, Ian Harrison, warned people to avoid the city centre, adding that it was "carnage". The fire is believed to have started at a factory in Gladstone Street, however, Crafton Street, Humberstone Road, Clyde Street and Wharf Street South were also affected.

According to the Leicester Mercury, station manager John Greasley said at 1pm GMT: "A spray booth unit is involved in fire. The smoke everyone can see is like smoke from a normal house fire – it is low hazard. Everyone in the surrounding areas we have asked to stay indoors and close windows."