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Manchester and Birmingham hardest hit in fourth night of rioting

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Rioters threw bricks at two ambulance response cars in the West Midlands and attacked an ambulance in Manchester during the fourth night of violent disorder in England’s cities.

West Midlands Ambulance Service assistant chief ambulance officer Tracey Morrell branded the attacks “sickening” and said it was only “fortunate” that the riots had not impacted on care of patients after the two response cars were attacked on the way to attend an overdose and a car crash.

Staff were left shaken but escaped injury in the incidents which happened as trouble flared again in Birmingham city centre on Tuesday night.

Riots also spread to West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, while three men died following a hit and run in the Winson Green area which is believed to be connected to the disorder.

Crews in the West Midlands attended 35 incidents, a similar number to the previous night, and conveyed 19 patients to hospital.

Ms Morrell said most of the incidents had been relatively minor assaults and praised the hard work of staff for maintaining a normal service.

She added: “Whilst we have instigated contingency plans to ensure that the service has sufficient resources to deal with the current outbreak of civil disorder, we have seen a number of incidents where crews have been delayed getting to patients because of the unrest.  It is just fortunate that this has not had a noticeable impact on the care of patients so far.”

North West Ambulance Service attended 27 incidents related to the disorder in Manchester city centre of which seven were taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary, three to North Manchester General and two to Salford Royal.

A spokesman said most of the incidents were assaults, collapses and alcohol related symptoms.

Two ambulance stations in Merseyside - Toxteth and Birkenhead - were evacuated and staff positioned elsewhere due to tensions in the area.

However, a stabbing was the only disorder related incident NWAS attended in Merseyside.

The spokesman added: ‘Despite one ambulance coming under attack in Manchester, the trust is pleased to report that no ambulance staff were injured.

“As yesterday, the trust will liaise closely with police and NHS colleagues throughout today and have full operational plans in place should repeat events occur.”

Meanwhile, the capital saw a much quieter night. London Ambulance Service attended seven incidents related to the disturbances, all of which saw patients conveyed to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

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