The emergency services descended on Barrack Square in Chelmsford this morning after a car spun off the road and into a river.

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All three emergency services were called to Barrack Square shortly before 11.25am today following the reports that a Lexus car had come off the road and gone into the River Can.

Members of the public had gone into the water to assist and police officers who attended also went in.

Firefighters from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service were called to find a car fully submerged in the river by Stonebridge Walk. One person was trapped by his foot, attached to the vehicle. Crews rescued the person by 11.58am and no one else is believed to remain in the vehicle.

Two rapid response vehicles, Essex Air Ambulance, three ambulance officers, the EEAST Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) and two ambulances were dispatched to the scene.

Five people were taken to hospital, including the driver of the car and bystanders who had entered the water to help, with possible hypothermia.

No-one was thought to be seriously injured.

Assistant Divisional Officer Doug Sylvester, from Chelmsford fire station said: “When the crews arrived at the river the car was completely under the water and the driver of the vehicle had tried to escape from his car via the sunroof, but that began to close and his foot had got caught in a seatbelt and he became trapped.

“Two police officers had jumped into the river before the firefighters had arrived and were helping to keep the man above water.

“Firefighters used specialist equipment to smash the sunroof and then cut the seatbelt to free the man, a ladder was used to bring him to safety, he was very cold after his ordeal but not seriously injured.”

The man had been reversing and crashed through the barriers into the river.