A MAN was airlifted to hospital after crashing into the front of a pub in Copnor.
All staff and punters at The Mermaid pub in New Road were evacuated after a silver-blue BMW crashed into the wall just before 4pm on Saturday.
A woman in her 20s was helped out of the car by passers-by but the driver, in his 30s, was unconscious and a team of firefighters had to cut him free.
A total of 25 firefighters from Southsea and Cosham attended the accident and the man and woman were was taken to hospital by ambulance to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
Their injuries are said to be serious but not life-threatening.
A woman who was inside the pub at the time of the collision received minor injuries.
Mark Jones, spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue service, said: ‘It’s treated very seriously because the potential there was quite horrific.
‘One person managed to get out of the car before we arrived and one had to be cut from the car.’
A team of urban search and rescue officers were also called out. They were part of the team that was sent to New Zealand and Japan to help in the search and rescue efforts after the devastating earthquakes.
‘Their role was to make the building safe,’ added Mr Jones.
‘When the car hit it there was a gaping hole in it so they were there to make sure the front of it didn’t collapse.’
The incident caused New Road to be closed in both directions for around an hour.
Serena Osborn, 41, from Copnor Road witnessed the accident and helped the woman out of the car.
She said: ‘He just crashed straight into the pub. I got the young girl out of the car.
‘He was going in and out of consciousness. A lady who was a nurse came over and we tried to calm him down. I just hope he’s alright.
‘He wasn’t talking or anything. We couldn’t get him to say his name.
‘He was in a bad way. It’s quite scary. He was in a hysterical state.’
Investigating officer PC Karen Drysdale of Hampshire Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit said: ‘I would like to thank colleagues from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and the South Central Ambulance Service for their expertise at the scene.
‘The emergency services worked well together in responding to this collision.
‘Police are also grateful to members of the public who assisted with our initial enquiries.
‘We remain keen to hear from any other witnesses and people with information about the collision or the movements of this BMW in New Road beforehand.’
Anyone with information should call PC Karen Drysdale of the Roads Policing Unit at Fratton Police Station on 101.