Two killed Cavan rally crash
Two people were killed and seven injured in an accident at a motor rally in Co Cavan today.
The incident happened after one of the vehicles lost control and crashed into a fence outside a house near Bailieborough, where spectators were standing.
Gardaí confirmed there were two fatalities following the crash which occurred at about 11.30 am.
Local sources say one of the victims was a female spectator in her 20s and the other was a male photographer, though this information has yet to be confirmed by authorities.
The Health Service Executive said seven others were taken to Cavan General Hospital for treatment, but declined to provide details of their injuries.
Emergency services were at the scene of the incident shorty afterwards and the rally was suspended.
One eyewitness, Mathew McMahon, saw the accident occur and described the scene in the aftermath.
“The car went over a crest [in the road] and I don't know if something broke or if he lost control, but he spun off the road into a fence and, I assume, into spectators,” Mr McMahon told RTÉ Radio.
“Then I heard people screaming, ‘red flag, red flag, stop the stage’. Then all hell broke loose, basically. There were people crying, people white as ghosts. It was clear something serious had happened. Then someone announced that someone had been killed.”
Another onlooker, who declined to be named, described the chaos following the accident.
"It was harrowing: bodies strewn all over the place. A lot of carnage. From what I could see there were two fatalities. Maybe eight injured, one seriously. There were seven or eight ambulances on the scene shortly afterwards," he told The Irish Times.
"From what I saw, the car came over the crest, lost complete control when it landed and just careered into the crowd."
The accident occurred during Cavan Stages Rally which was making its first appearance in Cavan. Around 130 racing crews were taking part in the event.
A Garda spokesman said that roads in the area remain closed and the scene of the accident is being examined by a forensic collision investigator.
The event was staged by Cavan Motor Club, which expressed deep regret at the incident.
“At this time all our energy is focused on the families of those involved in this tragic accident,” it said in a statement.
“The relevant authorities were immediately advised of the incident and the rally rescue services attended the scene. An investigation has begun into all facts surrounding the accident.”