Winds blow girls into path of bus

Undated handout photo issued by Northern Ireland Electricity of NIE emergency crews repairing the electricity network near Ballyclare
Undated handout photo issued by Northern Ireland Electricity of NIE emergency crews repairing the electricity network near Ballyclare

Two schoolgirls have been injured after they were blown into the path of a bus by strong winds.

The teenagers were walking in Belfast city centre when the accident happened.

Gales of up to 70 miles-an-hour have battered parts of the Northern Ireland throughout much of the day tearing down trees as well as electricity power lines and poles.

The girls were treated at the scene by paramedics but, their injuries are not believed to be life threatening.

A spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said: “At this time, it is believed that two teenage girls were blown by the wind and collided with a passing bus in the High Street area of Belfast at approximately 11.15am.

“The two girls have been taken to hospital for treatment but it is not believed that their injuries are serious.”

One of the girls is believed to have suffered a minor head injury while the other hurt her wrist when they hit the side of the bus.

It is understood the driver may not have been aware of the collision.

At the peak of the storm some 7,000 homes and businesses were left without power after high winds and heavy rain brought down power lines and split electricity poles.

The worst affected areas were Counties Tyrone and Armagh.

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) said engineers and emergency crews were battling the stormy conditions in an effort to supplies power but warned of further problems on the network as high winds continued to sweep across the region.

A statement said: “Damage has been caused by flying debris and high winds, including broken electricity lines and damage to poles and other equipment.

“There may also be further faults which have not yet been reported to Northern Ireland Electricity, and adverse weather conditions, which could cause additional faults, are due to continue for the next few hours.”

Meanwhile, the high winds have also hampered travel with a significant number of roads blocked by fallen trees and the Foyle bridge in Derry shut to traffic.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) has warned motorists to proceed with additional caution.

A number of ferry sailings between Northern Ireland, Scotland and Liverpool have been suspended.

The adverse conditions have also impacted on the daily Rathlin island to Ballycastle service in Co Antrim.