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Thursday 27 April 2017

Baby among eight injured as tourist bus and Luas crash

The scene after the crash in Smithfield Photo: Mark Condren
The scene after the crash in Smithfield Photo: Mark Condren

Paul Melia and Allison Bray

A three-month-old baby girl was among eight people injured following a crash between a Luas tram and an open-top tourist bus in Dublin's Smithfield.

A spokesperson for the Temple Street Children's Hospital last night confirmed that the infant was brought to the hospital following the crash at around 11am yesterday.

She was kept in the emergency department for about four hours for observation before being discharged.

The accident between an outbound tram on the Luas Red Line and a Dublin Cityscape 'hop-on, hop-off' bus brought service on the line to a halt after seven ambulances were dispatched to the scene to take the injured to hospital.

A tour bus and Luas crashed on Lincoln Lane in Smithfield Photo: Mark Condren
A tour bus and Luas crashed on Lincoln Lane in Smithfield Photo: Mark Condren

Service resumed at 12.40pm but the crash caused delays on the line for several hours.

The collision occurred at the Smithfield stop near the Four Courts and Lincoln Lane, which is controlled by a traffic light.

Emergency services at the scene after a tour bus and a Luas tram crashed in Dublin yesterday Photo: Mark Condren
Emergency services at the scene after a tour bus and a Luas tram crashed in Dublin yesterday Photo: Mark Condren

Three separate investigations are under way by gardaí, the Commission for Railway Regulation and Transdev, which operates the Luas.

"As far as we are aware there were eight people, four were described to me as 'walking wounded', who have gone off to local hospitals," Transdev chief Gerry Madden, who was at the scene, said.

Passengers shown getting off the Luas after the incident (Photo: John Donnelly)
Passengers shown getting off the Luas after the incident (Photo: John Donnelly)

"The most important thing is making sure they and our drivers are OK. But the number one priority is making sure that we understand what happened and that the people who've been injured are OK.

"I saw the driver of the bus and he was obviously shaken. He's been taken off to a local hospital. I don't know the mix (of the injured) but I think there was some people on the tram who have since gone off to hospital."

The incident occurred at approximately 11am on Friday morning at Smithfield in the city centre (Photo: Mark Condren)
The incident occurred at approximately 11am on Friday morning at Smithfield in the city centre (Photo: Mark Condren)

Work crews were mopping up shattered glass that littered the road and footpaths while the bus remained at the scene yesterday. Evidence of the impact of the crash could be seen on the driver's side of the bus, as the windscreen was shattered and the section of windscreen near the front door was sheared off.

"I'm still in a bit of shock. I was just sitting when I heard a massive bang and crunching of glass, and then everyone just started helping people get off," eyewitness Una Kavanagh told the Irish Independent.

"The bus seemed to hit the Luas while it was still moving and then, because it was moving, all the side of the carriage, all the glass on the side shattered too.

"There were a lot of people in shock and a few people were being looked after at the very front where the driver is. Some couldn't stand up. There was glass everywhere.

"It was just very out of the blue. I'm just hoping that people are OK because it looked like a lot of people were in shock."

Ramanathan Murugesu, who owns the doughnut and coffee kiosk at the Luas stop, said he heard a loud bang and the sound of shattering glass.

"There was a big, loud bang and then you could see all the shattered glass. A few of the passengers had dropped to the floor of the tram," he said.

"I saw a lady (on the top deck of the bus) and the driver walking out fine, although the driver looked a bit panicked all right."

There have been 19 collisions involving the Luas this year.

Irish Independent

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