Bus-driver will never forget the screams

 

A bus-driver who ferried some of the people injured in the Omagh bombing to hospital has told how he will never forget their screams.

Mr Michael McNally (40) described how he drove his bus into the centre of the carnage and tried to get as many injured people as possible on board.

"I wasn't able to drive fast because people were screaming in pain. I was only able to go at about 30 m.p.h. As we went over the ramps at the hospital, I could hear the roars of pain."

Mr McNally, who is from Omagh and knew many of the bomb victims, had been at the town's bus depot when he heard the explosion. He and another driver, Mr Aidan McBride, rushed to the scene.

"As we got to the traffic lights the sight was horrendous," he said. "What we saw was impossible to imagine. There were bodies lying, people screaming, people digging at buildings with their bare hands trying to get people out from under the rubble.

"It was just like a scene from hell. I just stopped the bus in the middle of the road. There were four ambulances in front of me, and we just tried to get people on board."

He said: "People were wandering about in total shock, others were screaming and lying in the road. People were carrying the injured in their arms. I just thought we will try and get as many people in here as we can because this is carnage. There were so many of them. I thought, good God, there's so many".

Mr McNally said people came from everywhere to help and taxidrivers and driving instructors loaded casualties into their cars. "People were coming in minibuses, vans, jeeps and even taxi men and driving instructors. We took about 25."

He said he lifted the worst-injured on board. One old woman had most of her clothes blown off.

"Another girl seemed to have a hole in her side. They handed her to me and she put her arm around my neck and when I got home my hair and my uniform was all drenched in blood. I had to throw my clothes out."