Mourners injured as car hits pedestrians outside Belfast cemetery
The scene of the incident remains sealed off as forensic officers examine the area.
Three people attending a funeral have been injured after a car hit pedestrians outside Belfast City Cemetery.
The scene of the incident on the Whiterock Road in west Belfast remains sealed off as forensic officers examine the area.
A statement from the Police Service of Northern Ireland said: “Police are at the scene of a collision on Whiterock Road.
“It’s understood a vehicle struck a number of people outside the cemetery shortly after midday.”
It's understood two men have been injured in the collision outside the city cemetery in west Belfast. The extent of their injuries is unconfirmed at this time.— Police Service NI (@PoliceServiceNI) August 3, 2019
The statement added: “It’s understood two males have been injured in the collision outside the city cemetery.
“The extent of their injuries is unknown at present.”
One man has been arrested.
Sinn Fein councillor Michael Donnelly was at the scene shortly after the incident.
“I got a call at around 12pm to say that there had been a terrible traffic incident,” he said.
“I’m from the community and went to the scene straight away and it was pure carnage and panic.
“There was a lot of people angry and upset. The PSNI, fire service and ambulance were all there and working frantically on the injured people.
“This is a very serious incident. Three people from our community and from well respected families have been caught up in this.
“There is real sadness and anger in our community.
“We need to make sure that anyone who witnessed it report it to whoever they feel comfortable with. I’m making myself available.
“The important thing is to come forward and make sure the person involved is brought to book. We don’t want to see the person responsible for this back on our streets.
“It’s a double tragedy – people were paying their respects to another well known member of the community who had died and as they were leaving that funeral to go home they were caught up in this carnage.”
I was down at the Pride March when I was notified of a horrendous incident on the Whiterock road today. News is still filtering out, but there's no doubt that's it's a dark day for our community. My thoughts and solidarity to those affected.— Gerry Carroll (@GerryCarrollPBP) August 3, 2019
A witness, who did not want to be named, said the crash sounded like a bomb exploding.
“I was walking out of the graveyard when I heard a massive bang and saw all the smoke in the air and then saw a car had crashed into the van,” he added.
“The funeral had just ended when it happened and we were walking up to the bar.
“It was really busy at the time.
“The police got there about 30 seconds later and the medics arrived shortly after that and started working on the man who was badly injured.
“The man who was injured was part of the funeral and he had been talking to someone who was in the van when he was hit.”