Monday 27 February 2017

Luas crash: Eight injured including three month baby girl after tour bus collides with tram

Paul Melia and Allison Bray

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)
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)
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)
The incident occurred at approximately 11am on Friday morning at Smithfield in the city centre (Photo: Mark Condren)
Luas and tour bus crash in Smithfield Photo: Gerry Curran

Service has resumed on the LUAS Red line following an horrific crash with an open-top tour bus that sent at least eight people to hospital this morning.

The crash between the outbound tram and a Dublin Cityscape  "hop-on hop-off " bus around 11am today in Smithfield brought service on the line to a halt after seven ambulances were dispatched to the scene to take the injured to hospital.

Service resumed at 12:40pm but delays continued for some time.

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

The Luas involved was travelling in the direction of Tallaght.

It is understood that at least eight people were injured in the incident, four of whom were sent to hospital and four of whom have been described as "walking wounded".

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

One of the injured who was rushed to hospital was a three-month-old baby girl.

None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening.

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)

The driver of the bus and the driver of the Luas were among those sent to hospital for observation as a precaution.

It is understood the bus collided with the driver's cabin of the Luas.

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)

The Luas continued to move in the immediate moments after the collision, causing extensive damage to the side of the tram.

Three separate investigations are underway by gardai, the Commission for Railway Regulation and Transdev,which operates the LUAS.

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)

Transdev chief Gerry Madden, who was at the scene, said: "The number one priority is making sure that we understand what happened and that the people who've been injured are okay."

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

Work crews were mopping up shattered glass that littered the road and footpaths while the bus remained at the scene.

The impact of the crash was evident from the state of the bus in which the driver's side of the windscreen was shattered and the section of windscreen near the front door sheared off. The front of the driver's cabin was completely mangled as was the front bumper of the bus.

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. The other thing I noticed was the druggies trying to get into the situation and rob the injured," he said.

"This was a nightmare too," he said.

Fortunately no one looked seriously injured and there only appeared to be one woman sitting in the top of the open-air bus who didn't appear to be hurt, he said.

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

Eye-witness Una Kavanagh told Independent.ie: "I'm still a bit of a shock. I was just sitting when I heard a massive bang and crunching of glass, and then everyone just started helping people get off.

"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 the blue. I'm just hoping that people are ok because it looked like a lot of people were in shock."

Five Dublin Fire Brigade units attended the scene, as well as advanced paramedics and the National Ambulance Service.

The incident brings to 24 the number of collisions involving the LUAS so far this year.

There have been 20 collisions with vehicles, including today's accident, as well as two collisions with pedestrians and two with cyclists.

Dublin Bus are accepting Luas tickets for the duration of this line closure.

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