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Bomb alert bus driver honoured for bravery

The bus boarded by a man in Londonderry who left a bomb directly behind the driver.

The bus boarded by a man in Londonderry who left a bomb directly behind the driver.

A Londonderry bus driver who showed great courage when bombers ordered her to drive a viable device to Strand Road police station has been given an award.

Michelle Starrs was given the ‘Gerry McKenna Hidden Hero Award’ at the Federation of Passenger Transport, Northern Ireland (FPTNI) Awards.

In November 2013 Michelle was driving in Ballymagroarty when a masked man boarded her bus and ordered her to drive to Strand Road police station.

She was told the bomb had been fitted with a two-hour timer.

Michelle drove a short distance to Northland Road, got her passengers off and called police.

Her actions were widely praised at the time.

Alan Young, Translink Service Delivery Manager said: “Michelle is a true hidden hero for her actions in a security alert – she demonstrated great courage and is a perfect Ambassador for Translink. Her dedication and commitment for going above and beyond has been rewarded and I am very proud of Michelle.”

SDLP councillor John Boyle said Michelle Starrs was “a selfless heroine. She put her own life at risk in an effort to protect the lives of others. Her bravery has rightly been recognized by her peers”.

 

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