THE WALES Air Ambulance was called out yesterday (May 16) to take an injured firefighter to a Cardiff hospital after a fire engine overturned on the Blaenavon Road.

A fire crew from Blaenavon was involved in the single vehicle road traffic collision at 10.20am on Thursday morning.

All five retained, part-time crew members were injured in the incident, which occurred while they were en-route to an emergency in the Torfaen area.

One firefighter was airlifted to the University Hospital of Wales after he had complained of neck pain and injuries to his leg. He remains in hospital but is reported as being in a stable condition.

Three firefighters were taken to Nevill Hall hospital in Abergavenny with back injuries and have since been discharged. A fifth firefighter was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

A South Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said that initially three crew members had managed to escape the fire engine and that Fire and Rescue Service colleagues from Abergavenny, Brynmawr, Ebbw Vale, Blaina and Malpas worked for some time with the Welsh Ambulance Service and Gwent Police to release two other firefighters from the vehicle.

The entire road was closed with diversions remaining in place for a number of hours to enable Gwent police to carry out enquiries to establish the circumstances of the collision and the Fire and Rescue Service is co-operating fully with the investigation.

The spokesman added: "No other details on cause of collision are available at this time and the thoughts of the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are with the firefighters involved and their families."

Heavy lifting equipment was later brought in to remove the fire engine, which had partially left the road and collided with mature trees.

The spokesman added: "The South Wales and Fire and Rescue Service is currently providing support to the affected crew and their families during this difficult time and would like to thank the public for their kind messages of support for the crew via our social media sites.

"Blaenavon Station, continue to provide operational cover which reflects their professionalism and commitment to the local community."