A MOTORIST and his passenger had to be airlifted to hospital after a road smash on the border of Burnley and Todmorden this afternoon.

A red Vauxhall Astra and a white Ford Transit van collided in Kebs Road, Cornholme, close to Cliviger wind farm, around 1.20pm.

Firefighters from Todmorden station had to cut free the 22-year-old Astra driver, who suffered a broken leg.

The Todmorden man was airlifted to the Royal Blackburn Hospital by the North West Air Ambulance, and his condition is not thought to be life-threatening.

His passenger, aged 20, also from Todmorden, was airlifted to Leeds General Infirmary by Yorkshire Air Ambulance after complaining of spinal injuries.

The van driver, believed to be in his 30s and from Padiham, was treated at the scene by paramedics for minor injuries.

Air ambulances from both services were scrambled to the scene because of the location.

Watch commander Carl Fielden, of Todmorden Fire Station, said: “There were two vehicles involved and the road was immediately closed off.”

He said specialist cutting gear was used to release the 22-year-old from the wreckage.

Crews were assisted by firefighters from Halifax and Mytholmroyd.

Damage was also caused to a red Fiat Stilo in the aftermath of the crash, but no-one from that vehicle was hurt.

The road remained closed from Mount Lane to Eastwood Road until around teatime while traffic police conducted initial inquiries.