Highways England said they had closed the southbound carriageway between junction 41 (Carr Gate) and junction 40 (Ossett) after a multi-vehicle collision at around 7.30am.
More than four miles of traffic has built up on the northbound carriageway on approach to the incident.
Heavy traffic has been reported on the westbound M62 as a result of the closure, with traffic back to junction 31 (Castleford).
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Traffic through Wakefield city centre is also heavy as a result of traffic following the diversion.
Passersby have also reported large amounts of debris in the area.
Highways England said that two lanes had been reopened, but traffic remains heavy in the area.