Two prisoners have escaped from a police van after being aided by an armed gang in Salford in Manchester.
The masked gang helped the prisoners escape during busy rush hour traffic this morning, just outside Manchester city centre
Startled rush hour motorists watched as one of the security guards was injured in the pre-planned attack. His condition is thought not to be life-threatening after he was rushed to hospital. The prisoners and the gang made off in a Saab, although the car was later found abandoned in a nearby street.
Detective Sergeant Paul Copplestone said: "We are sure that this incident was witnessed by many people at a very busy time of the morning. The Saab was driven off towards the M602 motorway.
"We would urge witnesses to contact us."
Salford has played host to a few attempted escapes from prison vans in the past.
Richard Smith, a convicted killer escaped from a prison van last May as he was being transported to Salford Magistrates Court to face charges for arson.
A masked gang brandishing weapons and crowbars threatened guards, before forcing open the rear door of the van, whilst the officers were waiting for a back door to open to get access into the court building.
He was transported from Swinton police station, and eventually extradited back from Spain after his escape to face charges.
Before that attempt, four years ago, Aaron Williams was sprung as he arrived at court.
Williams was freed from a security van with his escape staged to deliberately make it look like a kidnapping.
However, whilst he was on the run, Williams took part in a daring robbery, stealing £70,000 in East Yorkshire. He was later jailed for 11 years for the armed robbery and for the escape.
By Ben Malkin
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