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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Ken Foxe

Garda insisted doors of stranded Bray Air Show DART be opened with 'distressed' passengers inside

A garda insisted that the doors of a DART train stranded on the day of the Bray Air Show be opened with passengers inside already “distressed”.

A timeline of the events – which brought chaos to transport services – revealed that it took just six and a half minutes before the first passenger forced the doors of a train open after it came to a stop in sweltering conditions.

It explained how after one train came to a stop on the train line, both the gardaí and coast guard had requested the doors be opened so passengers could be evacuated.

Read More: Toddlers 'had to be stripped down to nappies' in sweltering conditions on the DART to Bray Air Show

Seven minutes later, the driver reported that a garda sergeant at the scene now “insists that doors should be opened” to let passengers disembark.

Another entry in the timeline said many on board were being evacuated through a local golf course; however, a “large group of trespassers” were moving north along the train line towards Shankill in South Dublin.

Irish Rail received around 60 formal complaints in the aftermath of the disruption with one passenger saying they were stuck on a train that was “rammed and hot”.

“The driver seems oblivious of the dangers of what is happening,” they said, “please tell him urgently, then call me. We need to move or get off the train.”

Another wrote: “Why’s the DART to Bray stopped? My daughter is in it with her two-year-old … it’s a bloody sauna, so dangerous. People just forced the doors open and everyone getting out onto the tracks. What’s going on? Sort it out!”

Another accused Irish Rail of blaming passengers who had been trapped in dangerous conditions.

They wrote: “Stop lying about disruption at Bray. I was on DART and aircon was not working, windows are so small, so people overheated.

“Babies and children couldn’t use toilet and some older people were suffering. It was more dangerous to stay on [the] DART than to leave.”

One passenger said it had become an “extreme health hazard” with no air and that it was getting difficult to breathe.

They said: “People had to break open the doors as there was a high risk of suffocation [or] fainting. I myself suffered a panic attack on this train.

“The treatment of the passengers was an absolute disgrace from your stewards, threatening people that jumped off the train on to the tracks [they] would be arrested by the gardaí when they reached the station.”

Another wrote about how they were on the train with their seventy-year-old mother who had ended up falling on the tracks and was “badly bruised and sore”.

They wrote: “It was like a movie from China where you see all the people jammed on a train, faces embedded to the glass, no windows for air.”

A second passenger explained how their girlfriend had a panic attack on board saying the temperature was “unbelievable” with “babies … screaming and stripping off”.

Another wrote of how frightening it had been, saying: “The carriage was boiling, every baby was screaming, and a teenage girl got faint and then vomited over other passengers.

“A scuffle broke out and my own child was so terrified he wet himself and was trembling. It was getting difficult to breath and condensation was dripping from the ceiling. A tiny baby that was screaming started to turn red and its father in a very distressed state broke the glass to open the door.”

A spokesman for Irish Rail said they again wished to apologise to customers who were delayed, disrupted, or distressed by the day’s events.

He said: “What should have been an enjoyable family day out ended for many in delay, upset and distress, including those who felt they had no option but to disembark from trains, and we are sorry to all customers affected for this.

“Our ongoing formal safety investigation is reviewing all aspects of the planning for rail operations for the Air Show, events on the day, and response, to ensure we prevent such a situation arising again, and we will advise customers of the findings of the investigation.”


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