York & North Yorkshire

High Askew bridge collapse plunges men into river

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Media captionThe men were crossing the metal footbridge when it collapsed

Two men have been rescued after they fell into a river when a footbridge collapsed in North Yorkshire.

A 65-year-old was flown to hospital in Middlesbrough with head injuries and a suspected broken arm.

And a 50-year-old was driven to hospital with hypothermia and head injuries.

Emergency crews were called at 15:00 GMT after the men were seen in the River Seven in High Askew, near Cropton village.

'Covered in bandages'

A Great North Air Ambulance spokesman said the man airlifted to James Cook University Hospital was from the York area.

The other man was taken to Scarborough hospital.

Image caption One of the casualties was taken to hospital by the air ambulance

The bridge involved was described as a small aluminium construction box frame structure, which was about 5m (16ft) long.

BBC News correspondent Danny Savage reported seeing one patient being taken from the scene, "conscious and sitting upright but covered in bandages".

He said the men on the bridge were members of a shooting party.

They were crossing the bridge on private land when it collapsed.

An eyewitness described both as "walking wounded".

'Totally collapsed'

By 16:50 the search of the area had been stopped and only one police car remained at the scene.

The air ambulance spokesman said the 65-year-old was thought to have lost consciousness following the fall, though he came round on his way to hospital.

The spokesman said: "The metal footbridge had totally collapsed into the river.

"By the time we got there, both men had been retrieved from the water."

A Yorkshire Ambulance Service spokesman said: "Two ambulances, a rapid response vehicle and a clinical supervisor from Yorkshire Ambulance Service and two air ambulances from Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Great North Air Ambulance were dispatched to the scene."

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