Police officer felled for 30 minutes by flying chunk of metal
In the middle of Belfast city centre on a Friday evening a stricken policeman lies in the road having been struck by rampaging rioters.
The officer appeared to have been hit on the head by a large piece of metal grating which had been torn from the road on Royal Avenue and thrown at police lines.
The impact was such he was knocked off his feet immediately and appeared to be unconscious.
He remained flat on the ground for at least 30 minutes as paramedics tended to him, fixing a neck brace before moving him to an ambulance and on to hospital.
Despite the threat posed by the array of missiles raining down on them, his colleagues rushed to his aid when he was hit, pulling him to the relative safety of the side of a police Land Rover.
They were so concerned by his injuries, they immediately called in medical support.
While they administered treatment, the mob continued to lob bricks and bottles at police lines. He was one of two officers who required hospital attention as a result of last night's violence.
Two other police officers were hurt as were two members of the public.
With their colleague on his way to hospital, two officers hit out at "the madness" of the situation.
"We have had this for months now," said one.
"What will this achieve?"
The other said: "We have the World Police and Fire Games and now this which ruins everything."