Pictured: Smashed ambulance after head on collision with lorry - crew 'lucky to be alive'
This is the devastating aftermath of a horrific head-on crash between an ambulance and a lorry in Co Down.
And while those involved needed hospital treatment, their injuries were described as not life threatening.
The crash happened just after 2.30pm on the Portaferry Road, near Mount Stewart on Tuesday.
One patient was on board the patient care vehicle with two crew members. They and the lorry driver were taken to hospital.
NIAS attend approx 4500 - 5000 Road Traffic incidents every year. Our vehicles cover over 7 million miles a year. It's probably amazing that we are not involved in more accidents but when we see photos like this we are just grateful that everyone came out of this alive today pic.twitter.com/OsuMnV9mYo— NIAS (@NIAS999) May 8, 2018
A major emergency operation including a rapid response team, a paramedic, three ambulance crews and the air ambulance were sent to the scene.
Hannah McNamara worked for five years with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service. The local Green Party representative said she was relieved to hear all involved were recovering from their injuries.
"From the looks of the vehicle, the crew are lucky to be alive. I wish them and their patient a speedy recovery," she said.
"We don’t realise the dangers our ambulance crews face on a daily basis and I am so relieved that no one was seriously injured in this case.
"I’m sure the crew never thought they would need to call on their colleagues in an emergency such as this, but I am thankful we have such dedicated ambulance staff out there saving lives day in day out.
"I urge other road users to be aware of emergency and non-emergency vehicles. Just because they don’t have flashing blue lights and sirens doesn’t mean there isn’t a patient on board being transported for treatment along with a life saving crew."