Four people have been rushed to hospital after a car they were in burst into flames aftersmashing into a restaurant in the early hours of New Year’s Day.
A teenage suspected drink-driver and his three passengers were injured in the dramatic smash in Manchester city centre at around 3.15am.
No staff were inside Tampopo on Albert Square when the Ford Fiesta burst into flames upon impact and firefighters had to help a man and a woman from the vehicle.
They and two others were taken to hospital for treatment.
The flames from the crash set fire to a number of umbrella stands outside the venue.
Owner David Fox, 55, who has five other Tampopo outlets, said: “It would appear someone just crashed into it, a great start to 2021.”
None of the venue’s 20 staff nor the owner were onsite when the crash happened.
The full extent of the damage to the restaurant, which opened there in 1997, is yet to be established.
Mr Fox, who hopes to open the restaurant for takeaways on Saturday said: “I’m hoping it will just be minor external damage. We will see.”
Greater Manchester Police said officers were called to the scene at around 3.15am.
A force spokesman said: “A man aged 19 was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and failing to remain at the scene of a collision.
“He was taken to hospital with injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.
“Three passengers in the car – a woman aged 19, a man aged 18, and a man aged 20 – were taken to hospital for injuries that are not believed to be life threatening.”
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said two fire engines, from Moss Side and Salford, were called to the scene alongside a technical response unit from Ashton-under-Lyne after reports that a car had gone into a building in Albert Square just before 3.15am.
Firefighters used hose-reels to tackle a fire but the blaze did not appear to have spread to the inside of the restaurant, although it was left heavily smoke-logged.
Firefighters pulled a man and a woman from the car and they were taken to hospital by the North West Ambulance Service.
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