A POLICE officer is in critical care after liquid ammonia was sprayed in his face as he attended an emergency callout.

The sergeant suffered damage to his eyes, throat and lungs in the attack at around 2am on Tuesday.

Six police constables were also taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital after they were hit with the liquid.

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

The police were called to a home in Ash Grove, Darwen, following reports of a woman being threatened with a knife.

After forcing their way into the home, they were sprayed with what is believed to have been an ammonia cleaning liquid.

The attacker then escaped through a first floor window but was caught.

All of the other officers involved suffered less serious injuries and have been discharged from the hospital.

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

Superintendent Andrea Barrow said: “It's really shocking to see this happen to one of our own colleagues.

“All our Lancashire Constabulary staff send support and our thoughts to him and his family.

“It shows the dangers police officers face on a day-to-day basis.

“Without thought for themselves and while protecting members of the public, they face that danger and at times are assaulted and seriously injured as in this case.

“You see more and more police officers and public service workers assaulted and sustain injuries.

“It is sad this is the case in this day and age.

“The officer who has been seriously injured is in critical care in hospital and is having his injuries assessed.”

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

A 46-year old man from Darwen is being held in custody on suspicion of wounding with intent.

An Ash Grove resident, who woke up to a heavy police presence outside her house, said: “I can’t believe that has happened.

"I hope the officers are okay.

“I saw the police when I got up this morning.

"They knocked on my door to ask if I heard anything at the time."

READ > REVEALED: The top crime hot spots in your area

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

Another resident added: “I saw the police outside at around 2am.

“I couldn’t see what was going on but there were a lot of officers about.

“It feels really dangerous to live around here now.

“We had a murder not too long ago and now this.

“I’m scared of leaving my house or being in on my own at night."

Lancashire Police Federation chairman Rachel Hanley said: “A sickening attack on a colleague, who was simply doing his job. Sadly this incident highlights the dangers our officers face every day when protecting our communities. We wish our colleague a full and speedy recovery.”

Pendle Sgt Scott Boast Tweeted: "Gutted to hear about this, the Sergeant ever since I can remember has always been one of the first people in - wishing that he and all involved make a full and speedy recovery."

Chief Constable Andy Rhodes said: “My thoughts are with this officer and all of those affected by this incident, which shows once again how they put their lives on the line each day.”

PCSO CHris Hamer Tweeted: "Disgusted to hear news of this when I came in the office this morning. Hoping that their injuries are not long lasting."

Retired East Lancashire chief superintendent Bob Eastwood said: "This is awful to read.

"I and no doubt innumerable others wish this Lancashire frontline cop and his colleagues a speedy recovery - and a lengthy time in prison for the person found to be responsible."