A double-decker bus which was involved in a collision with a tram in Dublin’s city centre had been given a green light, transport chiefs claimed today.
Twenty-six people were injured after the number 16 bus and Luas tram crashed at the corner of Abbey Street and O’Connell Street yesterday afternoon.
CIE chairman Dr John Lynch said traffic lights had given the Dublin Bus driver right of way just before the accident.
“The indications that we have on the CCTV is fairly clear that the driver had a green light,” Dr Lynch said.
“What can a driver do if he has a green light except go through?”.
A Railway Safety Commission probe was underway along with separate investigations by gardaí, Dublin Bus, Luas operator Veolia and the Department of Transport.
“It will be a while because they’ve got to go into everything. They have our CCTV but they have obviously got to look at: Did the Luas have any CCTV and was there a problem?” Dr Lynch added.
The tram from Tallaght derailed on impact ploughing into the side of the bus to Santry, pinning passengers against broken glass and mangled seats.
Three people remained in hospital following the collision, including the Luas driver who sustained cuts and bruises.
A Luas spokeswoman declined to comment on Dr Lynch’s claims.
“We are conducting our own investigation and we are also co-operating with separate investigations by the Gardaí and the Railway Safety Commission,” she said.
The crash prompted calls for an urgent safety review from Labour transport spokesman Tommy Broughan.
Mr Broughan said the transport sector’s procedures and checks needed to be reassessed in light of the Luas crash and the collapse of a bridge on the cross-border Dublin-Belfast line near Malahide last month.
“Major question marks remain over the performance of the Railway Safety Commission and the failure of the Government to properly resource this critical rail safety agency,” he said.
“The systems for checking and monitoring safety across the whole transport sector also appear to be ad hoc and very disjointed.”
Meanwhile, gardaí have appealed for eye-witnesses and passengers who left the scene of the Luas and bus crash before emergency services arrived to come forward.