Stunned children from the nearby Markets area gathered around the police cordon in East Bridge Street near the city centre yesterday and stared at the sight of the double-decker bus lying battered on its side.
They chattered excitedly about what had happened. One girl said she saw the bus wobble, hit the wall and then fall on to its side.
The number 4A bus was just minutes from completing its journey from Ballybeen in the east of the city to Belfast City Hall when the accident happened at 2.15pm.
The double-decker was on the bus lane on East Bridge Street and had stopped at pedestrian lights outside Central Station.
It was just pulling off and so it hadn’t been going at any speed when it struck the kerb.
The front left corner of the bus had been torn off but the rest of the vehicle was largely intact.
The bus’s destination ‘city centre’ was still visible over the driver’s cab that had been carved open by emergency crew in order to rescue the bus driver.
DUP Health Minister Edwin Poots offered his support to those injured. He said: “I was shocked when I heard so many people had been injured in what must have been a very frightening incident for everyone involved “.
Alliance MLA for east Belfast Judith Cochrane said: “I hope that Translink will carry out a full investigation and get to the bottom of this accident and ensure that it does not happen again.
“I would like to wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured in this crash.”
Ulster Unionist councillor Jim Rodgers said he was “relieved” no one was seriously injured.
“When people get on a Citybus they don’t think anything like this is going to happen because of the very good record Translink has,” he said. “I would also like to pay tribute to the emergency services who were on the scene within minutes.”