On the run: Two prisoners escape from van in Salford as five men in balaclavas bust out duo

By Mancunian Matters Staff

Note: This story is being constantly updated. Please refresh for updates.

Five men in balaclavas ambushed a prison van in Salford this morning, releasing two men from the vehicle.

15.20pm: A 28-year-old woman and 24-year-old man have been arrested on the Ordsall estate on suspicion of being involved in assisting an offender.They remain in police custody for questioning.

12.20pm: MM understands that one of the men who was sprung from the prison van this morning was Ryan MacDonald, 20, from Allen Dale Walk, Salford.

MacDonald was arrested following reports a man had been shot in Salford in January this year. Police were called to Westray Crescent where a 20-year-old man was taken to hospital for treatment to a gunshot wound.

A car chase ensued and culminated in three arrests. MacDonald was subsequently charged with driving whilst disqualified, dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking. 

He was also due to be sentenced for conspiracy to rob.

11.48am: Forensic teams are now analysing the prison van and scouring the area. The van remains cordened off on Regent Road. The manhunt continues in Salford.

Shortly after 9am, police were called to Regent Road following reports a prison van had been attacked as it was on its way to court.

It is believed one of the men may have escaped on a motorbike.

As part of their response, police have deployed officers across Salford.

Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan, said: “To reassure those that live nearby there is a significant police presence in the area.

“At this stage we do not believe that there is any ongoing threat to the community and we would appeal to anyone who has any information to contact the police as soon as possible.”

The van was on the side of the road this morning with its windows smashed and was later surrounded by officers.

Police were quick to rule out that this incident has any connection to the ongoing trial of Dale Cregan and others at Preston Crown Court.

One eyewitness told the BBC he saw three masked men in a dark green car drive across the carriageway into the side of the prison van.

Another witness said he saw two men wielding axes and another ‘appeared to be holding a shotgun’.

It is understood those in the prison van were due to be sentenced today over a series of armed robberies.

Anyone with information can call police on 101.

Picture courtesy of tulula73, with thanks.

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