Buncrana and Derry joined in grief
INISHOWEN and Derry are
today joined in sadness after a family of five died
in a tragic accident at Buncrana Pier last night.
The incident happened when an Audi Q7 got into
difficulty on the slipway on the banks of Lough
Swilly shortly after 7pm.
Local eyewitness Francis Crawford said he and his
wife were on the pier after taking a drive after
He said he noticed the 4x4 on the slipway and opened
the car window. He said the male driver of the
vehicle yelled to him to "call the coastguard", as
the vehicle became submerged in the deep tidal
water. He said he got through to the emergency
services immediately and a massive scale emergency
operation got underway.
Buncrana Pier lit up last night
during the major recovery operation.
Meanwhile a man from
Kerrykeel got into the water and managed to save a
young baby. Mr Crawford outlined harrowing details
of the tragedy on RTE's Morning Ireland this
He described the local and visiting emergency crews
as "very professional" but said that ultimately
there was nothing anyone could do to save the
remaining occupants of the vehicle. The family are
reportedly from the Galliagh area of Derry and
included a woman in her 50s, her teenage daughter,
the partner of another daughter and their two
children. A large and silent crowd watched last
night as a huge recovery operation took place
lasting several hours. The local Beach House
restaurant provided hot drinks, food and support to
response teams on what was a bitterly cold evening.
Gardai operated several cordons as crowds gathered
in the distance. Shocked locals said the pier had
earlier been busy with daytrippers and locals
enjoying an unseasonably sunny spring day followed
by one of Lough Swilly's stunning sunsets. The names
of the accident victims have not yet been released.
Post mortems are expected to be carried out later
today at Letterkenny University Hospital. Meanwhile
it is understood the rescued baby is doing well in
hospital. Investigations are continuing today.