Sunday 23 October 2016

Three probes launched into Cork bus accident which crashed carrying 50 students

The scene of the crash
The scene of the crash
Catriona Nugent

THE school bus which crashed in Cork carrying 50 students was in perfect mechanical condition, according to preliminary inspections.

While tests by garda public service vehicle inspectors are ongoing, the preliminary indications support the theory that the extreme weather conditions played a critical role in Monday's crash in north Cork.

Miraculously, despite the severity of the accident, no-one sustained serious injuries.

Three investigations are now under way by Bus Eireann, the gardai and the Health and Safety Authority into the accident at Cregg South on the Ballyhooly-Fermoy Road in north Cork.

The 53-seat bus, carrying two drivers and 50 students, collided with a ditch after apparently losing control on a steep hill leading to a sharp bend.

The accident occurred at 8.20am as the coach, operated by a Bus Eireann sub-contractor, was bringing teens to three Fermoy secondary schools - Colaiste an Chraoibhin, St Colman's and Loreto.


Incredibly, despite the coach overturning onto its side and a small tree piercing the rear cabin, trapping three students, none of the crew or passengers were seriously injured.

One student, Adam Cronin (16), suffered suspected nerve damage to his lower leg.

Despite initial fears, his leg was not fractured.

Another student, Catriona Nugent (17), suffered cuts and bruises in the incident.

Catriona admitted she was "lucky to be alive" after the tree had pierced the window beside her and passed just inches from her head.

A third student, Caoimhe Gowen (14), suffered a neck injury after being thrown around the bus as it collided with the ditch.

Bus Eireann confirmed the vehicle belonged to another firm.


"We can confirm a vehicle sub-contracted for its school transport services - travelling on the road from Pound Cross, Rathcormac to Ballyhooly - was involved in an accident which resulted in the bus leaving the road," Bus Eireann said.

"The bus is operated by Glenferry Coaches and was en route to several post-primary schools in Fermoy.

"The emergency services were immediately contacted and attended the scene of the accident."

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