Tuesday 17 October 2017

Late bus may have saved life of holidaymaker headed to devastated city

Majella O'Sullivan and Louise Hogan

A LATE bus may have saved the life of an Irish woman on the holiday of a lifetime in New Zealand as the devastating earthquake struck.

Lynn Kelly (29), from Kilmacud, Co Dublin, revealed the fateful delay occurred as she was travelling to Christchurch, near the quake's epicentre.

Her family said their thoughts were with others who had not been so lucky, with more than 200 still missing.

"Someone was definitely looking after me," Lynn said at Dublin Airport yesterday. "As we were driving down the road into Christchurch the whole road started to shake; we had got the second tremor, not the main earthquake.

"We were due to stay in the Ibis Hotel in Hereford Street. We were actually late in. I've heard, I don't know whether it is true, but basically you couldn't go down there because it is gone."

Meanwhile, the pregnant wife of one of the Irish victims was told that authorities were bringing in heavy machinery to recover bodies from the collapsed PGC building where JJ O'Connor worked as an accountant.

Up until then, rescue operations had been concentrating on finding survivors.

"There's no more searching for survivors to be done at this stage," said his uncle Denis O'Connor in Abbeydorney, Co Kerry.

"His wife Sarah had been keeping a vigil there but was moved on this morning."

Irish Independent

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