South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue confirmed that firefighters were at the scene and said the road would “likely” be closed overnight in both directions.
It said in a tweet: “We currently have crews on scene dealing with a lorry fire on the M18 near junction 2.
“Avoid the area if you can and please be advised that the road is likely be closed overnight in both directions as we deal with this incident.”
One witness at the scene said he saw the lorry “blow up” in front of him.
Dan Hadfield said on Facebook: “A tanker has just exploded in front of us on the M18. I literally watched it blow up. Utterly terrible here.”
National Highways said that the road was closed as a result of a “serious collision”.
A spokesperson said: “The M18 in South Yorkshire has been closed in both directions within J2 near Doncaster due to a serious collision.
“All emergency services are working at the scene with South Yorkshire police leading the response. The road will remain closed throughout the night due to the severity of the incident and protracted nature of the investigation and recovery work.”
They also advised that there were southbound delays of 90 minutes with congestion backed up to junction 4 and 45 minute delays northbound with traffic backed up to junction 1.
Traffic Officers were installing closures to divert traffic via the exit and entry slip roads.
Drivers were urged to seek alternative routes.
More to follow.