Belfast Telegraph

Grandmother tells of terror as yobs attack bus

By Lindsay Fergus

A grandmother said that someone could have been killed when the bus she was travelling on was attacked by a mob of youths.

Four passengers were injured after the bus from Belfast City Hall was targeted by a large group of young people - some as young as 11 - throwing stones in the east of the city.

One woman was struck by a stone and three others by flying glass when four buses were hit in the Castlereagh Street and Beersbridge Road area on Wednesday.

A car was also damaged in the incident at 9.30pm.

Jean Barnes, who was on the number 19 bus, has hit out at those behind the mindless attack.

She said: "They could have seriously hurt the driver and he could have lost control, there could have been fatalities."

Thankfully the 54-year-old, who is deaf, escaped injury in the terrifying ordeal.

She said: "I crouched down but there were other people hurt. It was not very pleasant."

The first Ms Barnes knew the bus had been attacked was when she noticed the driver's window had cracked. "No one really knew what had happened," she explained.

"They told us to crouch down and the next thing we were bombarded with bricks.

"There was a man just sitting there, he was frozen, the window had came in. Everybody was frightened and physically shaken."

Ms Barnes described those behind the attack as "hooligans".

She said: "I was angry that it happened, I was annoyed for the driver who was only doing a day's work and the other passengers."

Translink has offered a £1,000 reward for evidence that leads to a conviction.

PUP councillor John Kyle has also warned that the attacks needed to stop before someone was seriously injured or killed.

He said that up to 40 youths were behind the disturbances. Mr Kyle said: "There is absolutely no justification for it. It's disgraceful behaviour.

"Children should not be engaged in anti-social behaviour. Parents need to know where their children are.

"Somebody will get seriously injured and some of these young people will end up in court and with a criminal record."

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