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Two women injured after bus ploughs into Belfast city centre shelter

These are the dramatic moments after a bus crashed into a shelter in Belfast city centre.

Three women were in the shelter waiting for the 61 Carr's Glen service when they were alarmed to see the bus coming towards them on Queen Street just after 2pm yesterday.

The bus was apparently trying to swing into the bus stop around another bus parked in front of it.

It appears the vehicle then mounted the kerb and hit the roof of the shelter, pushing it forward and causing the glass in it to shatter. The shelter was also ripped out of the ground, along with paving stones in the footpath.

It was left leaning dangerously to one side with the bus resting against its roof.

The single-decker bus was also damaged with cracks running through the glass in the front windscreen.

The women in the bus shelter were knocked to the ground, suffering cuts, bruises and shock.

Two were taken to hospital with the most seriously hurt put in a neck brace and stretchered into a waiting ambulance as stunned bystanders looked on in disbelief.

Ella Mulholland was one of the three women caught up in the chaos - her sister was taken to hospital for minor injuries as a result of glass smashing.

Speaking yesterday, she said she had a narrow escape and it was a miracle no-one was killed.

"We were standing waiting for the bus and it must have went too near the kerb.

"The tyres lifted up and it hit the edge of the bus shelter and the glass shattered all around us.

"She went down and then I went with her - we couldn't steady ourselves."

Eyewitness Andrew Bates (18) said: "The front of the bus hit the bus shelter, shattering the glass, and a woman flew through it."

Councillor Jim Rodgers said he was alarmed to hear of the crash.

He said: "Queen Street, in the last number of months, has been used for buses to stop. This is concerning; however I have no doubt Translink will launch a full inquiry and at this time the blame cannot be pointed at anyone."

One bus passenger at the scene said that he had heard bus drivers complaining about the angle needed to get into the bus shelter.

A Translink spokeswoman said: "The route moved from Belfast city centre to Queen Street on September 1 last year as part of the 'Belfast On The Move' initiative.

"This move was designed to make the city more accessible and less congested."

There are six routes that run through Queen Street to west and north Belfast.

Asked if Queen Street was simply too small for the amount of bus traffic, the spokeswoman said: "At this early stage it would be impossible to say, as a full and thorough investigation into the incident will have to be carried out by Translink."

The crash comes only five months after a double-decker Translink bus overturned outside Belfast's Central Station.

Some 30 people were injured during the incident, including a pregnant woman.

Belfast Telegraph