THREE police officers were taken to hospital after their patrol car collided with a taxi.

The men, who were on duty, had to be cut free from the Ford Focus by firefighters after they became trapped.

The fire crew then carried them out on spine boards after the crash in Manchester Road, Walkden, shortly after 3am yesterday.

Paramedics treated all three PCs at the scene and they were taken by ambulance to Salford Royal Hospital.

A police spokesman said two of the officers were discharged yesterday morning and the third is still being treated for a number of injuries, including a suspected neck injury.

The PCs are believed to be in their late 20s and early 30s.

It is understood the officers were responding to a 999 call and smashed into the side of the taxi — a silver Mercedes minibus — after the taxi emerged on to Manchester Road from Old Clough Lane.

The force of the impact caused the taxi to smash into a parked car.

The taxi driver, a 49-year-old man, was treated at the scene for cuts and bruises.

Both the police car and the taxi were seriously damaged, and the parked car suffered minor damage.

Police closed a section of Manchester Road until 7am yesterday while they investigated the incident and removed debris from the road.

A police spokesman said: “In line with procedure, the police car driver has been suspended from driving duties while an investigation is carried out.”

In some cases such as this police report the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission to investigate, but the police spokesman said this incident had not been referred as their own investigation into the collision is still ongoing.