BUS Eireann has confirmed an investigation has been launched into an incident where a woman travelled up 25kms in the baggage compartment of one of its coaches after she was accidentally locked inside.
The middle-aged woman from Co Clare, who does not want to be identified, was travelling to her home in Ballyvaughan from a hospital in Galway where she has been undergoing treatment for cancer.
The journey is about 50kms however, on arrival in Ballyvaughan, the woman is understood to have tried to get her bag by reaching into the baggage compartment but was unable to do so.
The small bag is thought to have become hidden behind larger luggage so the woman climbed in to try and retrieve it.
After climbing into the compartment it's thought she may have fainted. It's not believed that any visual inspection of the baggage area was carried out before the doors were closed by the driver.
The bus continued its journey to Doolin a further 25kms away where the woman was discovered. It's understood the woman had 'come around' again and did not want to make and issue of the incident.
She did have a discussion with the driver in Doolin and it's understood that arrangements were made to get her home via Lisdoonvarna. It's thought she was taken by car.
A family friend said however: "It's unbelievable. I can't believe something like this could happen. She doesn't want to make a big deal about it and I don't if it's because she's embarrassed or just isn't bothered by it but I know she was very frightened by the whole thing."
"When she got out of the bus in Doolin she didn't know where she was. She had words with the driver and someone arranged to drive her to Lisdoonvarna and she was taken home then from there," the friend added.
"I can't even imagine what would have happened if the bus had gone the Corkscrew Hill route to Doolin. She would have been thrown all over the place and would definitely have been hurt," the pal said.
A company spokeswoman said: "Bus Éireann takes complaints very seriously and we investigate all complaints. This matter is currently being investigated and you will appreciate no further comment can be given pending the outcome of the investigation."
When asked to confirmed the circumstances of the incident, the company would only say: "We are currently investigating an incident and the details of that incident."
Route of the terrifying journey