Two die as stolen car crashes in Salford

Crash scene
Image caption The Audi smashed into a number of parked vehicles

Two people were killed when a stolen car crashed into eight parked cars and caught fire in Greater Manchester.

Police said they had been in pursuit for a short time but stressed the car was not being followed when it crashed on Leigh Road, Boothstown, Salford.

The Audi was stolen in a raid on a property in Farnworth, ten minutes before the crash on Thursday evening.

It is thought the two people killed were in the Audi which burst into flames on impact.

Police said the impact of the crash and explosion was so severe that the pair's bodies are unrecognisable.

Ch Supt Kevin Mulligan said: "One of our priorities is to establish the identity of the two people who have died."

'Crash fireball'

He added: "I urge anyone who may know who they are to come forward. I know that there may be two families out there who have not been contacted by a loved one and our job is to make this devastating time as easy as possible for them."

Six cars caught fire while four nearby houses also suffered heat damage with cracked windows. Nine cars were damaged overall, said firefighters.

One resident Nigel Bertenshaw said: "There was a fireball, I just went back into my house to get out of the way."

Another resident Joe Horne said: "We heard a screech and it wasn't so much a boom as a thud."

Four fire engines with 25 firefighters tackled the burning cars.

Police pursuit

Greater Manchester Police believe the car was stolen in an aggravated burglary at a house on Boscombe Gardens in Farnworth at about 20:25 GMT on Thursday.

Three men are understood to have arrived outside the property in a silver Vauxhall Vectra, before two of them got out, smashed a house window and grabbed the keys to the red Audi S4 Quattro parked outside.

They threatened a neighbour who challenged them while he was putting out his bins and both cars were driven off at speed.

The Audi was then spotted on Walkden Road by a passing police car.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said "a short pursuit followed" but the officer lost sight of the car.

Police then received reports the Audi, with the registration number M50 UKC, had hit a number of parked cars on Leigh Road.

The Vectra was later found abandoned on Mill Brow in Worsley.

The force has referred the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Leigh Road is likely to be closed for most of the day, police said.

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