The men, in their mid-20s, were travelling in a VW Passat on the South Douglas Road, towards Douglas, around 2.15am yesterday, when it collided with a wooden electricity pole. The car accelerated and smashed into a metal pole 30m away, close to the junction with the Cross Douglas Road.
The ferocity of the collision pulled down power lines. The metal pole almost sliced the car in half, becoming embedded in it just short of the dashboard on the passenger side.
The force of the impact was so great that the engine was ripped from its mountings and thrown up on the road.
One local resident, who asked not to be named, said the aftermath was like a war zone, with a shattered wooden pole and debris strewn across a wide area.
The car’s battery was found 40ft away.
The resident described the sound of the impact as like “a rocket”.
He said: “It was a miracle that anyone survived that impact. And it was a miracle that no-one was travelling in the opposite direction at the same time. They probably wouldn’t have stood a chance.
Emergency services were alerted and units of Cork City Fire Brigade, gardaí, and paramedics rushed to the scene, where firefighters used cutting equipment to free one of the two men from the mangled wreckage.
Both were taken to Cork University Hospital for treatment, for what gardaí described as minor injuries.
In a tweet later, the City Fire Brigade shared images of the vehicle and said its crumble zones helped absorb the force of the collision, ensuring the passenger compartment remained intact.
Crews attend a road traffic collision overnight and used hydraulic cutting equipment to free the occupants.— Cork City Fire Brigade (@CorkCityFire) May 8, 2018
Crumple zones help to absorb the force of the collision, ensuring the passenger compartment remained intact. Occupants brought to hospital by @AmbulanceNAS for treatment. pic.twitter.com/BzNN6iFenO
A spokesman said gardaí at Anglesea Street are investigating. Officers were waiting yesterday for medical clearance to speak to the occupants of the car.
Meanwhile, another man was taken to CUH with serious injuries, after a single-car accident at Templebryan north, Shannonvale, near Clonakilty, at around 3am.
And another man escaped injury, following a single-vehicle collision at Ballybeg, between Newtwopothouse and Buttevant, in north Cork, at around 2.30am yesterday.
Fire crews also attended that accident.