FLIGHTS were diverted and trains delayed after a fire broke out next to Southend Airport.

The airport confirmed that it had at least three diversions, as well as significant delays to departing and arriving aircrafts.

It is believed the fire started at roughly 3pm, and was fully extinguished at roughly 4pm.

The fire started outside of the airport grounds, near to the Greater Anglia train line that runs parallel to the airport.

As a result, Southend Airport's runway was closed for a short period, while rail services were delayed and trains were forced to "slow" through the airport station.

Roughly 150 metres of embankment were alight, but fire crews were able to leave the scene by 4.20pm.

A spokesman for Southend Airport said: "The incident was off the airfield on the railway line.

"The runway was closed for a short while whilst external services dealt with it.

"As a result we had three diversions and delays to both departing and arriving aircraft.

"All now back to normal."

Greater Anglia took to Twitter with a series of tweets on the fire.

It originally tweeted: "Due to a line side fire at Southend Airport, services on the Southend branch are being delayed.

"Trains are having to run at a reduced speed through Southend Airport station and are being delayed up to 10 minutes.

"The Essex Fire Brigade and Network Rail are on the site."

Before later adding: "Following a line-side fire at Southend Airport all lines are now open.

"Services running through this station are returning to normal but some services may be delayed by up to 10 minutes. Normal services will be provided as soon as possible."

A fire service spokesman said: "Firefighters were called to support firefighters from Southend Airport tackle a fire on the embankment of the train line close to Southend Airport.

"When fire crews arrived, they reported around 150m of embankment was alight and the fire was spreading to nearby fields.

"Crews were able to leave the scene at 4:20pm.

"The cause of the fire was recorded as accidental."