Motorists are being warned to avoid the M61 near Bolton after a woman’s body was found in the middle of the motorway last night.
Officers were called to a section of the southbound carriage way at 2am after drivers spotted the corpse in the road, which is likely to remain closed into rush hour.
Some reports claimed the woman had fallen from a motorway bridge and was hit by a lorry – police are not currently treating her death as suspicious.
Superintendent Stuart Barton said: "A large-scale policing response is in place following this tragic incident.
"We are making a number of inquiries at the scene, which is why the road closures are likely to remain in place for some time.
"We are still trying to establish the identity of the woman who has died, so we can find and notify next of kin as soon as possible.
"It is too early to say whether there are any suspicious circumstances, and the road is still closed so we can do our best to understand what happened.
"I can assure the public we are doing all we can to return the road network to normal however, at this time I would ask that motorists avoid this part of the M61."
A full closure of the M61 southbound at junction four has been put in place and full road closures are also in place on both sides of Cleggs Lane Bridge in Bolton.
@ingolwhite Tweeted: “Somebody's jumped off the M61 near manc it's now closed from the reebok. Delivery driver at work said he saw his leg in the fast lane.”
Emma Frain Tweeted: “We saw a man stood on the M61 (nearly hit him) at 1am on way back from Man Airport in Dec. Called the police but never heard anything.”
The closures will remain in place for several hours and motorists are advised to find alternative routes as there is currently major traffic disruption.
Police are appealing to anyone with information or who was on or near the motorway at about the time of the incident to call police on 101.