A man believed to be in his early 40s is in a serious condition in Portlaoise Hospital after the car he was driving plunged into a canal near Athy, Co Kildare.
The incident happened just before 10.30pm on Saturday when the car, which was travelling on the Stradbally to Athy road, crashed through a barrier at the bridge, landing on its roof in the canal.
Members of Kildare Fire Service were first on the scene and rescued the man from the car with the aid of ambulance paramedics.
At first, it was feared that there might have been passengers in the car but fire service divers, after an extensive search of the canal, concluded that the driver was alone in the car.
Athy Station Officer Ben Woodhouse praised the work of the fire and ambulance personnel. Speaking to the Emergency Times website, he said: “It’s very rare that the outcome is good in these type of calls, but thankfully on this occasion, it has been so far. Our firefighters managed to rescue a man from a car submerged in water in very difficult conditions.
“It shows their professionalism at every level and both the fire and ambulance paramedics at the scene last night are to be commended.”
The road remained closed while gardaí conducted a technical examination.
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