Police have arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder after dropping a three-year-old girl from a bridge in an apparent murder-suicide attempt.
Hero officers waited in the water to catch the girl aged three and saved her life.
Officers responded to Crompton Way, Astley Bridge in Bolton on Friday evening after members of the public alerted police to a man who was threatening to drop a child into the river below.
Officers immediately began negotiations with the man but he refused to communicate with the offices and dropped the child approximately 30 feet into the water.
A plan had already been put in place for this eventuality and an officer was waiting in the river, allowing them to reach the child quickly and remove her to safety. The child escaped with only a broken wrist.
Soon after the man then fell from the bridge, but was taken from the water by officers. The 39-year-old man was then taken to hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.
superintendent Paul Savill, from GMP’s Bolton borough, said: “Thankfully the little girl will recover from her physical injuries, but the trauma she was put through is heartbreaking. My thoughts are with her and her family.
“We have arrested a man on suspicion of attempted murder, he will be questioned by police at the earliest opportunity.
“We have a specialist team of negotiators who always try their utmost to resolve these situations without injury and get people the support they need. Sadly on this occasion, the man failed to engage, however, we had a second team waiting in the water to enable us to rescue the child within seconds of her entering the water.
“We will now ensure that the little girl and her family have all the support going forward, to help her make a full recovery.”