York & North Yorkshire

Two rescued after car swept into river near Aysgarth

The River Nidd at Summerbridge in Nidderdale
Image caption The River Nidd at Summerbridge in Nidderdale has burst its banks

Two people have been rescued by firefighters and flown to hospital by helicopter after a car was swept into a swollen river in North Yorkshire.

A search and rescue helicopter from RAF Leconfield was called by police to Thornton Rust, between Bainbridge and Aysgarth in Wensleydale.

Initially three people were in the water but one managed to get out.

The helicopter took two people, one described as a "stretcher case", to the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton.

The second casualty was said to be "walking wounded".

A wall is also understood to have collapsed because of flooding.

North Yorkshire Police has confirmed that a "silver command" post has been set up in the town of Richmond.

In Grinton, south of the village of Reeth, a small bridge has collapsed.

Bridge collapse

Police said in a statement: "We are experiencing flooding in the Reeth and Leyburn areas.

"So far one bridge at Grinton has collapsed. Police have concerns for a bridge at Low Witter farm on the B6270.

"The A6108 between Leyburn and Reeth and the A684 road between Leyburn and Hawes are currently closed."

Officers also confirmed a separate rescue had taken place in which a man was brought to safety by North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service from his vehicle which had become stranded in the Gunnerside area.

Image caption Flooding at Grinton which eventually damaged the bridge

A search is currently ongoing near the swing bridge at Reeth after torchlight was seen near the river.

Emergency services, search and rescue teams and air support are conducting a search of the river to ensure there is no-one in danger.

Many rivers in the area are swollen after heavy rainfall. The River Nidd at Summerbridge in Nidderdale has burst its banks.

So far there have been no reports of serious casualties or reports of anyone missing in the area.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said their crews had rescued five people from three separate incidents across the county because of the bad weather.

All of the incidents have involved vehicles driving into flood water.

And Police have warned motorists not to move the road closure barriers after a number of motorists ignored or moved them and subsequently became stuck in flood water.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: "It is also very dangerous for other road users who may believe the road is open when it is not, putting them at risk of becoming stranded.

"With temperatures expected to drop overnight, the wet roads will become treacherous and police are warning motorists to avoid unless absolutely necessary.

"If they do take to the roads in the morning, please take extra care, drive according to the road conditions and beware of black ice."

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