Three-quarters of passengers who were travelling on a double-decker bus which crashed and overturned in Belfast have submitted claims for compensation, it has emerged.
Thirty-one people, including a pregnant woman and a baby, were injured when the vehicle mounted the footpath outside Central Station before striking a wall earlier this year.
Yesterday, the Transport Minister revealed that 26 of the 35 passengers on board, at the time, have made personal injury claims.
The figures were released in response to an Assembly question from SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly.
The Upper Bann representative has called for a speedy resolution to the claims. “While we have concerns generally about the compensation culture in the North, anybody who has been injured in the course of an accident is entitled to compensation,” she said.
“It was quite a shocking incident and I’ve no doubt that many of the passengers suffered from shock and physical injury.
“Where that is the case, then they are entitled to make claims and I would hope those claims are resolved quickly so that people can get the help they require
as soon as possible.” It was also revealed that the cut-off date for submitting claims is three years.
The bus had been travelling towards Belfast city centre when it mounted the kerb and overturned on Sunday, August 14. A pregnant woman, a baby and several children were among the passengers who were flung from their seats among shards of glass as the vehicle toppeld and smashed on to the road.
Emergency services had to free the badly injured driver and many of the passengers received treatment at the scene and at hospitals across Belfast.
Some later described how they feared the bus would drop around 30ft off the bridge.
A spokesperson for Translink declined to comment on the compensation claims by passengers when contacted by the Belfast Telegraph yesterday.
She said an investigation carried out by the DVLA confirmed there were no mechanical faults with the bus, adding that the company is still waiting for the police investigation to be completed.
The double-decker bus was travelling towards Belfast city centre when it mounted the kerb just outside Central Station and collapsed on its side on August 14. Cutting equipment was used to free the badly injured driver from the bus. The |injured passengers were taken to four hospitals in Belfast.