Sunday 17 December 2017

Baby girl survives as family of five die in pier tragedy

Emergency services on the pier at Buncrana Photo: North West Newspix
Emergency services on the pier at Buncrana Photo: North West Newspix
An ambulance and a fire engine at the scene of the tragedy Photo: Justin MacLochlainn
Emergency services on the pier Photo: North West Newspix

Greg Harkin

Five family members have died after their vehicle went into the water at a pier in Co Donegal last night.

A baby girl, who was also in the car, was rescued by local people after the family's four-wheel-drive appeared to slip into the water at the slipway in Buncrana.

A major rescue operation swung into action around 7.15pm yesterday.

The Sligo 118 Coast Guard helicopter and RNLI crews from the town and from Greencastle assisted gardaí and ambulance crews at the scene.

The vehicle was pulled from the water just after 9pm.

The children who died included two boys, who were of primary school age, and a girl.

"It was the most awful scene," said one local man.

"The emergency services worked tirelessly to try to rescue the family but there was little they could do other than to try to recover them from the water as quickly as possible."

It is understood those who died were a couple and three of their children.

A fourth child was rescued from the water and was rushed to Letterkenny University Hospital by ambulance crews.

The family, who were in a Northern Ireland-registered car, are believed to have been visitors to the area.

Local people say there had been a number of incidents in recent months of cars parking on the slipway and pier and then getting into difficulty when their vehicles slid into the water.

Irish Independent

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