A 21-year-old man died and a 21-year-old woman was seriously hurt in a crash on the M6.

The crash happened just before 7pm on Wednesday close to junction 27 of the M6 near Charnock.

The Lancashire Telegraph understands that the 21-year-old man is a former Witton Park Academy student from Blackburn, who has been named locally as Kamrooj Zaman.

Police and an air ambulance were called to the incident around 6.40pm, after a Peugeot 207 car and a petrol tanker crashed.

The incident closed the motorway in both directions between junctions 27 and 28.

The driver of the Peugeot, a 21-year-old man from Blackburn, was found with a number of serious injuries.

Sadly he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A 21-year-old woman from Blackburn, a passenger in the Peugeot, suffered a serious head injury and was taken to Royal Preston Hospital.

The driver of the tanker, a 58-year-old man from Ellesmere Port, was not injured.

The motorway was closed for four hours while accident investigators attended the scene.

Blackburn with Darwen Councillor for Shear Brow and Corporation Park ward, Cllr Hussain Akhtar, said: "My thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

"We have good relations with his family and this is very sad news for Blackburn, especially during Ramadan.

"As a community we heard about this tragedy last night, and everyone is grieving.

"When I came back from prayers, people were outside on the street talking about it and it was very, very sad.

"I will be praying for him and will be going to see his family today and of course, I will pay my respects at his funeral.

"On behalf of the people of Blackburn I want to offer my sincere condolences."

Police are now working extremely hard to piece together what occurred and would like to speak to anybody who witnessed the crash and has not yet been spoken to by police.

Sgt Claire Pearson said: “First and foremost our thoughts are very much with the family of the man who died, and with the woman who is currently in a very serious condition in hospital.

“We are now working extremely hard to work out what caused this collision and we would urge anybody who saw all or part of the incident to get in touch as soon as possible.”

Anybody with information is asked to get in touch with the police on 101, quoting log number 1448 of May 15.