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Firefighters called to rescue 27-stone woman

Firefighters were today called to lift a 27-stone woman who had fallen into a ditch and suffered a suspected broken leg, paramedics said.

The woman got into difficulties in Ipswich, Suffolk.

Ambulance service officials said paramedics could not lift the woman, who was in her forties, and called in fire crews.

A fire service spokesman said crews used a ladder, ropes and a basket stretcher to lift the woman into a specially reinforced ambulance.

The St John Ambulance service said one of its fleet of bariatric ambulances - designed to carry patients up to 70 stone - had been used to ferry the woman to hospital.

Fire-fighters went to the woman's aid as health officials in Ipswich drew up plans to move a 70-stone man from his home in Ipswich, to a hospital in Chichester, West Sussex.

Paul Mason, 48, needs specialist lifesaving treatment, say health service bosses.

Staff from various emergency services are involved in drawing up plans for the 150-mile journey.