Belfast Telegraph

Belfast car park fire: Two buses destroyed in ‘alarming incident’

Two tourist buses have been destroyed by fire in a suspected arson attack outside a hotel in Hope Street in Belfast city centre in the early hours of Saturday morning. [Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press 03/06/2017]
Two tourist buses have been destroyed by fire in a suspected arson attack outside a hotel in Hope Street in Belfast city centre in the early hours of Saturday morning. [Photo: Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press 03/06/2017]

Tourists visiting Belfast have had their trips disrupted after two coaches were burned in a car park in a suspected arson attack in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police were alerted shortly before 5am that a fire had destroyed the two tourist buses at a car park in Hope Street in the city centre.

One of the buses is owned by Dungiven coach firm Quinn's, while the other is owned by a German tour operator.

A spokeswoman for Visit Belfast told the Belfast Telegraph: "This was an alarming incident for everyone involved, particularly for our visiting guests who have had their travel plans and their experience affected.

"Our teams have been working closely with tourism and hospitality partners right across in the city to minimise its impact, together determined that our visitors could quickly and comfortably resume their plans.

"Emergency response teams acted with speed and we are grateful for their efforts to quickly and safely secure the area and for their urgency in investigating the cause of the incident."

Police are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Inspector David Gibson said: “It appears as though the fire started under one of the buses before spreading to the second.

"While the exact cause is still under investigation, it is thought that the fire was started deliberately.”

Visit Belfast say they have been “heartened by the understanding and warmth of feedback which has been received from our guests to date” in the wake of the incident.

One of the buses destroyed in a suspected arson attack at a car park in Hope Street, Belfast in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Picture by Justin Kernoghan/Alan Lewis, PhotopressBelfast.co.uk/3/6/2017
One of the buses destroyed in a suspected arson attack at a car park in Hope Street, Belfast in the early hours of Saturday morning. Picture by Justin Kernoghan/Alan Lewis, PhotopressBelfast.co.uk/3/6/2017

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