Manchester

Stowaway trapped under Bolton-bound coach is rescued

Coach Image copyright MICHELLE LYNN
Image caption The lorry had returned from France hours before the stowaway was heard banging for help

A stowaway was freed by firefighters after spending four days strapped to a coach which had travelled to the UK from France.

He was heard banging for help after the vehicle arrived at a lorry park in Greater Manchester on Tuesday morning.

Crews used hydraulic jacks to free the man, 20, who was arrested on suspicion of immigration offences.

The owner of Bolton Lorry Park said she believed the man was fastened to the coach using rucksack straps.

Michelle Lynn said a lorry driver heard banging from underneath the coach at about 06:00 BST before alerting the vehicle's owner.

The coach had returned from Normandy, France earlier in the morning on a trip run by Newmarket Holidays.

Police were called to the scene before requesting help from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS).

Specialist crews from Leigh used jacks designed to lift Metrolink trams to raise the coach enough for the man to be cut free.

'Big risks'

Miss Lynn, whose family owns the lorry park, said: "The firefighters told me the man said he had been under there for four days.

"It's amazing people are so desperate to reach the UK they will take such big risks."

A spokesman for GMFRS said crews arrived at 07.45 BST and took about 10 minutes to free the man.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said man was taken to hospital before being arrested.

A spokesman for Newmarket Holidays said the coach belonged to Burnley-based Mario Coach Travel and its passengers had disembarked several hours before the stowaway was discovered.

He added he believed the stowaway became trapped when the driver released the air suspension.

The BBC has approached Mario Coach Travel for comment.

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