Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Minister praises wedding guests following bus crash horror

double-decker bus carrying a party of wedding guests overturned into a field on the outskirts of Lisburn
double-decker bus carrying a party of wedding guests overturned into a field on the outskirts of Lisburn

A minister who conducted a wedding service before 60 of its guests were involved in a bus accident has praised the spirit and efforts of those involved to make the day a special occasion for the newlyweds.

Amy Adair and Robbie Sinclair, both London-based solicitors, were married in Fisherwick Presbyterian Church in Belfast on Saturday.

Following the service, a vintage Routemaster bus was supposed to take the guests to the reception in Montalto Estate in Co Down.

However, on the way to the venue the bus overturned and landed in a ditch on the Ballynahinch Road.

Of the 60 on board, 14 were injured and had to be treated in hospital while the rest were treated at the scene and were able to make their way to the reception. It's believed one of the worst injured suffered a broken pelvis.

The Rev Derek McKelvy who married the couple, believed to be in their 20s, praised those guests who were able to make the reception.

He said the guests on the bus arrived around two hours late "cold, sore and in shock".

"Given the very difficult circumstances, everyone really rallied together to make the night a real special occasion," he said. "And it was a very good night."

Lisburn DUP councillor Andrew Ewing, a member of the city's road safety committee, said that stretch of road is particularly dangerous.

The DUP man, who came across the incident, said: "I'm just thankful no-one was more seriously injured, this could have been much worse.

"That is a notoriously dangerous, fast stretch of road... it can be quite deceptive and there have been a number of fatalities on the road in recent years."

Passengers described a "mad scramble" to get out of the bus with people climbing over each other. John McPoland from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said: "Thankfully when we got there, although the scene was pretty chaotic and people were very worried about each other, nobody was seriously injured."

A spokesman for Belfast Tours Limited, which owns the bus, said they would not comment on the incident given the ongoing police investigation, which they would be co-operating fully with.

"Our first thoughts are with those injured in the accident and we wish them a full and speedy recovery," he added.

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