Cancer victim locked in bus luggage hold for 25km trip
BUS Eireann is investigating how a female passenger travelled up to 25km 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 50km.
However, when the bus arrived in Ballyvaughan, the woman had trouble trying to retrieve her luggage from the baggage compartment.
The small bag is understood to have become hidden behind larger luggage so the woman climbed in to try to retrieve it.
After climbing into the compartment, it is thought she may have fainted.
It's not believed 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 25km away, where the woman was discovered. It's understood the woman had come to and did not want to make an issue of the incident. She has not lodged a complaint on the matter.
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 home 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 know 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 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 Eireann takes complaints very seriously. This matter is being investigated and you will appreciate no further comment can be given pending the outcome of the investigation."
This is not the first time a passenger has been trapped in the luggage hold of a moving bus. In January 2007, a young woman was locked in the baggage compartment of a Bus Eireann bus in Dublin city centre as she attempted to retrieve her cases.
The young woman had been travelling from Athlone to Dublin city and had been collecting her luggage when the bus stopped at O'Connell Bridge in the city. She was discovered in the hold when the bus pulled into Busaras.