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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 February, 2004, 05:20 GMT
Five killed in bus crash
A bus mounted the pavement and crashed
A bus mounted the pavement and crashed
Five people have been killed after two double decker buses crashed in the centre of Dublin.

Three women and two men died and 17 others were injured in the accident at a bus stop at Wellington Quay.

One of the buses lost control and mounted the pavement at about 1320 GMT on Saturday.

It struck people in the bus queue as well as pedestrians.

The injured have been taken to three separate hospitals - 12 of them are said to be seriously hurt.

The emergency services worked to free the injured at the scene of the accident, near the Clarence Hotel, south of the River Liffey.

It is thought a number of people were trapped at the scene.

Emergency services attended the scene
Emergency services attended the scene

A spokesperson for Dublin Bus said it was the worst accident in its history.

Spokeswoman Grainne Mackin said it was a dark day for the company.

"Today's an appalling day. It's a tragic day for both Dublin Bus and the people involved in this accident," she said.

"It's still very early days in the investigation. The two drivers involved in the buses are both in hospital. We're not sure of the extent of their injuries."

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern and Transport Minister Seamus Brennan visited the scene soon after the accident to speak to emergency service workers.

Mr Ahern said it was one of the worst tragedies in the city in recent times, and extended sympathy to all involved.

Mr Brennan said there would be a full inquiry into the accident.

Traffic congestion

Irish President Mary McAleese said she was shocked at what had happened.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have been so tragically killed in Dublin and with those who have been injured in this dreadful event in the midst of our capital," she said.

After the accident, the area was cordoned off and there was major disruption to traffic.

The BBC's James Helm in Dublin said: "That is a very important road in the middle of the centre of Dublin. Traffic has really ground to a halt throughout that area.

"It's a busy weekend. A lot of people would be out and about in Temple Bar, which is a tourist area just near there."

The BBC's James Helm
"The accident happened right in the heart of the city"

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