The incident occurred at around 02:00 this morning between junctions 26 and 27, and the scene is currently led by Essex Police. An HGV crossed over the central barrier into the opposite carriageway and collided with other vehicles.
Clockwise traffic is being diverted off at junctions 23 and 25, to return to the M25 at junction 27 via the North Circular (A406), and traffic travelling anticlockwise is being diverted off at junction 27 to return at junction 26.
The motorway is likely to stay closed in both directions throughout the morning peak travel time and for some hours beyond. Police are investigating, and damaged vehicles need to be recovered and the road infrastructure repaired.
The Highways Agency is working hard alongside Essex Police to get the road reopened as quickly as possible, and thanks TfL for support with the diversion route.
Members of the public should contact the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways Agency press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.