Here's why it took 46 minutes for an ambulance to reach three women hurt in hit-and-run smash in Blackpool

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The ambulance service has explained why it took paramedics 46 minutes to get to last night's crash in Garstang Road, Blackpool.

Three ambulances were called out at 8.04pm but the first did not arrive until 8.50pm, yet a spokeswoman said the smash, which left three women hurt, was graded as a 'category three' incident, which should see paramedics on the scene within two hours 90 per cent of the time, according to government targets.

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At 8.32pm, the call was then upgraded to 'category two' - a more urgent incident but still less than the more severe category one, which is reserved for life-threatening situations.

Category two calls should be reached in an average of 18 minutes, and within 40 minutes nine times out of 10.

The first ambulance arrived exactly 18 minutes later and within the target.

The wreckage of the BMW, from which two men, including the driver, fled, according to police (Picture: Lancashire Road Policing)

The wreckage of the BMW, from which two men, including the driver, fled, according to police (Picture: Lancashire Road Policing)

One of the women, 25, a passenger in a BMW, was taken to Royal Preston Hospital with a leg injury, police said.

Two women in a Skoda were taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital, each with a broken wrist.

Firefighters gave cut the Skoda's roof off and gave first aid to the women before paramedics arrived.

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Firefighters cut the roof off the Skoda to free two women in their 50s (Picture: Rachel Atkinson)

Firefighters cut the roof off the Skoda to free two women in their 50s (Picture: Rachel Atkinson)

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She also said the service was "extremely busy" with emergency calls between 6pm and 10pm yesterday.

Ambulance response time targets were overhauled last year.