A HERO police officer was injured trying to help a man who was "hanging" from a motorway bridge in Farnworth.

The incident occurred on Church Road last Friday at around 8.40pm after the man was seen standing on the wrong side of the bridge before trying to run across to the opposite side of the road.

The officer stopped him by pulling him to the ground, but suffered head injuries in the fall and had to be taken away in an ambulance.

Witnesses described seeing blood coming from the police officer's head, although a Greater Manchester Police spokesman said he was only treated for minor injuries.

Minibus driver Alan Chiltom was trying to cross the bridge in his vehicle when the incident occurred.

He said: "The police had blocked the road off. The man was on the opposite side to me but I could see the police were trying to talk to him.

"He told them he wanted a cigarette and one of the police turned to ask if anyone had some, then the man tried to run to the other side of the bridge but the other officer managed to stop him. He looked like he hit his head when he pulled him down."

Kearsley councillor Mark Cunningham was also at the scene and said he had seen the man run from one side of the bridge to the other once before the police were able to stop him.

He described the man "hanging" from the railings over the motorway before trying to run back across and being pulled to the ground by the officer.

Mr Cunningham tried to help the officer after the incident, he said: "He seemed to be bleeding pretty badly. Another person came to help with the other policeman and we put bandages around his head."

The police spokesman confirmed that both the injured officer and the man were taken to hospital, they also said the incident was being treated as an assault.

Enquiries into the situation are ongoing.