Monday 23 October 2017

Supermarket customers flee in terror as van crashes through window

The van that ended up in the Centra shop, Gort Road, Ennis, this evening. Photograph by Eamon Ward
The van that ended up in the Centra shop, Gort Road, Ennis, this evening. Photograph by Eamon Ward

Pat Flynn

ONE person is recovering in hospital while four others suffered minor injuries after a van smashed into a busy supermarket.

The incident occurred shortly after 8.30pm when a white Ford van came through the main glass doors and plate glass windows of Lynch’s Centra supermarket in Ennis, Co Clare.

Customers and staff fled in terror as the van careered through the front of the store, and into the main counter area.

The vehicle managed to avoid safety bollards outside the store as well as a concrete pillar.

Shelving and stock was left strewn across the floor while shattered glass covered pavement outside the store. The alarm was quickly raised and emergency services were at the scene within minutes.

Two ambulances and a rapid response advanced paramedic unit from Ennis General Hospital, just yards away, arrived at the scene within seconds.

They were quickly followed by gardaí and three units of the fire brigade also from Ennis.

Paramedics examined all those who had been injured and established that only one required hospitalisation. Four others suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.

Gardai are investigating the cause of the accident and how the van ended up inside the store.

One shopper said: “I was getting into my car and I heard an almighty smash and a lot of screaming. I thought there was a crash on the road but saw nothing.

“Then I looked back at the shop and saw the van inside. I nearly got weak with the fright. I just came out of there.”

Gardai sealed off the area and moved onlookers back behind a cordon while the injured were tended to by paramedics.

While fire crews were dealing with the aftermath, they were diverted to another incident in Ennis.

Emergency crews responded to the Parnell Street car park in the town, where it had been reported a person was in the river. But on arrival, there was no sign of anyone in the water.

The Irish Coast Guard’s Shannon based rescue helicopter was last night assisting fires crews and gardai to search the river.

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