A PRISON van has gone up in flames on the A19 in North Yorkshire this afternoon.

Fire crews were called to the fire near Easingwold at 12.30pm where the van was completely alight.

Richard Darn, who was driving past the scene at the time, said: "Apparently the guy driving it was going south and had a blow out on his tyre.

"The tyre started smoking and at some point that caused the blaze. Quite a bit after, it took hold of the tyre and then the van and the petrol tank went up.

"You could see the black smoke from a mile away, it was completely ablaze."

There were not believed to have been prisoners on board when it stopped near Birdforth, a North Yorkshire fire service spokesman said, however this is currently being confirmed with prison escort business GeoAmey.