Passengers on a bus from Letterkenny to Dublin had an incredibly lucky escape tonight after the vehicle burst into flames just as their journey began.
Bus Eireann’s Expressway 32 service had left Letterkenny bus station at 7.45pm when serious problems arose.
By 8.30pm, the vehicle was completely ablaze at the Dry Arch Roundabout.
The driver and all 15 passengers escaped injury during the incident this Thursday evening.
One couple travelling to Dublin Airport recounted their frightening experience.
They told Donegal Daily how the driver was attempting to bring the bus back to Letterkenny station when “small explosions” occurred.
As soon as smoke appeared in the cabin, one passenger rushed to open the side door and all passengers evacuated. They struggled to open the luggage door to save their bags, but it’s believed that passengers got their belongings out onto the roadside before the fire spread.
Passengers stood and watched flames engulf the bus as fire services arrived on the scene.
One couple said that passengers were aware there was a problem shortly after the bus left Letterkenny station. They said the driver stopped the vehicle twice to call base and was ordered to return to the station when fire broke out at the roundabout, 2.5km away from base.
Passengers have been brought back to Letterkenny Station and provided with an alternative bus to bring them to Dublin tonight.
A relative of one passenger told Donegal Daily: “Something has to be done with this company. Either their scheduled routes are cancelled or no show or there are safety issues.”
A spokesperson for Bus Eireann said: “All 15 passengers on board our Expressway coach from Letterkenny to Dublin were safely evacuated after a fire broke out. This is an exceptionally rare occurrence in our fleet and will be thoroughly investigated.
“We’d like to thank the emergency services, our driver and passengers for their rapid and effective response. Passengers have been accommodated to continue their journey to Dublin on another vehicle.”