A MAN was rushed to hospital with a serious leg injury after a seafront crash this afternoon.

Four people were cut free from the cars - a red Mini Copper and a Hyundai - after the smash, in Eastern Esplanade, near Southend Sealife Adventure, at about noon.

The road was closed in both directions for much of the afternoon.

One witness who asked to remain anonymous said: “It looked very serious.

“Someone said there was a person laying on the floor after the crash.

“I’ve never seen people being cut from cars.

“There was a lot of traffic both sides of the closure with cars trying to turn around.”

Firefighters, ambulance crews and police all rushed to the scene after the two cars collided.

The three fire crews worked quickly with the paramedics to help release the four people who were trapped in the cars.

The patients were released by 1.20pm and left in the care of the ambulance service.

The road was closed in both direction so the crews and other agencies could deal with the incident safely.

The air ambulance was called and landed in the gas works car park, next to the busy seafront.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Two vehicles – a red Mini Cooper and a Hyundai – were in a crash at around 12.05pm.

“A man inside the Mini has sustained a serious leg injury and is being taken to hospital for treatment.

“If you saw anything, have CCTV or dash cam footage or have any other information please call us on 101 quoting incident 481 of 22 July or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

The ambulance service was contacted for comment but has not responded.

Buses were also rerouted due to the road closure.

A spokesman for Arriva Herts and Essex buses tweeted: “Due to a police incident on Eastern Esplanade we are unable to serve the Esplanade, the service nine will be diverted along Woodgrange Drive and Lifstan Way in both directions.”