A CYCLIST plunged over a 25ft bridge in a bizarre accident in Elland.
The woman aged about 30 was cycling along Elland Bridge not far from Calderdale Way when she failed to take a sharp right-hand bend.
She hit the kerb which sent her flying over the bridge and down into around 2ft of water below at 6.40pm on Saturday. Both the River Calder and the Calder and Hebble Navigation Canal run under the bridge.
Watch Commander Andy Medlock from Elland fire station, said: “She was exceptionally lucky to hit any water at all as a couple of feet to the right or left and it would have been very different.
“There was a shingle bank on one side of her and the bridge foundations on the other.
“A passer-by managed to get to her quickly and got her on to the shingle bank.”
Paramedics assessed the stricken cyclist and believed she had two broken ribs.
Firefighters called in a specialist rescue team from Halifax fire station equipped with a new kind of aerial appliance that can rescue people from below ground level.
It is called a Combined Aerial Rescue Platform – or CARP for short.
Firefighter Ian Tyson, from Halifax fire station, said: “The cyclist was conscious throughout the rescue and at one point was even laughing. The CARP has a stretcher that attaches to it and paramedics secured her to the stretcher and our operator then lifted her back up and over the bridge.
“We have had this appliance since April 1 and this is the first time we have had to use it for a rescue below ground level, but we have used it in a normal aerial appliance role.”
The woman was then taken to Calderdale Royal Infirmary, Halifax, for treatment.
A removal van rolled over at least twice after a spectacular crash on the M62.
One of the van’s tyres had a blow-out while it was being driven on the long downhill stretch of the motorway from Junction 24 at Ainley Top to Junction 25 at Brighouse.
The drama happened close to Rastrick at 10.45am on Saturday.
Watch commander Dave Boothroyd from Elland Fire Station said: “It had rolled over at least twice before ending up on its wheels in the third lane.
“Debris was strewn all over the road surface so the eastbound carriageway had to be closed for quite a while.’’
The 29-year-old man suffered back and neck injuries and was taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for treatment.
He was not thought to be badly hurt.