Fire engine attacked by rioters in Salford

A fire chief has described how his engine came under attack from rioters as it answered an emergency call to put out fires at shops in Salford.

Gary O'Neill, station manager with the Greater Manchester Fire Service, said youths threw bricks and missiles, smashing an appliance's window.

Mr O'Neill said the violence was the worst he had witnessed in his 27-year career.

He said fires would have spread without police restraining rioters.

The engine was among five deployed from Manchester to tackle fires started by crowds in Salford Shopping City. A second suffered a puncture from driving over missiles.

Two shops in the shopping centre were completely destroyed, along with a nearby newsagent.

"I've seen disturbances before, but nothing on this scale at all. It took me by surprise did the ferocity and aggression of the people who were attacking ourselves and the police," said Mr Duggan.

"If it hadn't been for the police's actions and professionalism then there would have been several more shops burnt out and people would have been facing life without work."

"We couldn't tackle fires the way we normally would as we had to seek protection from police who did a fantastic job of looking after us."

The North West Ambulance Service said that one of its ambulances came under attack, but none of its staff were injured.

Greater Manchester Police has said that it is increasing the number of officers on duty later from the estimated 1,000 that it deployed on Tuesday.

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