A MAJOR search was launched tonight (Wednesday) after reports of a woman in distress on the A66 near Darlington.

Police in Darlington co-ordinated the operation which centered on the Blands Corner area of the town, near Blackwell around 8pm.

A spokeswoman for Darlington police said a member of the public had called in to say they had concerns for a woman seen wandering near the carriageway. The road was closed for a time as the dog section, air support along with other officers were deployed to the scene. However, they were unable to find anyone.

The operation was stood down around 9pm.