Urgent safety checks are to be carried out on helicopters used by air ambulance providers across England after a crack was found in a rotar hub.

Air ambulance trusts across the UK have been told to check their own Eurocopter EC135 aircraft after a warning was issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

A crack was found in the main rotor hub of a helicopter in Scotland and pre-flight checks have been ordered on the aircraft while an investigation is carried out.

The European Aviation Safety Agency said: “This condition, if not detected and corrected, could lead to further crack propagation, possibly resulting in main rotor hub failure and consequent loss of the helicopter.”

In England, the same helicopter model is used in Thames Valley and Chiltern, the North West, Midlands, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Dorset and Somerset, according to the Association of Air Ambulances.

Providers have been informed of the safety warning.

About 1,000 of the affected helicopters are used around the world.