Christmas cheer took a nose-dive in Limerick this morning when a section of the city’s festive street lights collapsed onto traffic.
One of the motorists involved, Martin Hennessy, got more than he bargained for after taking a day off work to do some Christmas shopping when the heavy-duty lighting structure fell and struck the roof of his car with a “big bang”, he said.
It is understood a crane attached to a truck, that had been delivering materials to a premises at the time, made contact with the overhead festive lighting structure causing it to fall down.
The incident occurred on Patrick Street, shortly before 10am, and caused traffic “chaos”, explained Mr Hennessy, from Annacotty, Co Limerick.
No one was injured.
Speaking at the scene shortly afterwards he said: “I was stopped in traffic and then there was a big bang on top (of the car).”
“There’s a few scapes on the bonnet as well.
I got a (fright) alright with the bang...I was (thinking) what was that.
“There’s a bit of damage to the roof, there’s a dent and a few scratches. There’s no one hurt, thats the main thing,” he said.
“The lights fell down and that was it. I was stopped in traffic and then the lights came down. It was lucky there was no one injured.”
“There was (traffic) chaos here for a while because I wasn’t moving. There was no one moving.”
“Someone came and cut the wires so we could move (the structure) out of the way, and (then) I moved my car out of the way,” Mr Hennessy added.
It’s believed a number of vehicles were damaged.
Joanne Moloney who witnessed the incident said: “We were crossing the street and looking left and I noticed the crane lifting a pallet off a truck and I said to my son, ‘that’s going to hit the christmas lights’, and as soon as I said it, it did.”
“They fell straight away.”
“Everyone started pulling out cameras and taking photographs and everyone was looking around in shock.”
“The chances of seeing that happening are slim.”
Somebody could have easily have been hit because the roads were very busy, and the footpaths. I’d say there was a lot of lucky escapes...It’s mad.
A spokesman said the section of lights that were damaged “would not be replaced” in time for this Christmas.
Later, in a statement, a council spokesman said: “One string of Christmas lights on Limerick’s Patrick Street was damaged earlier today due to work being carried out by a third party.”
“The string was struck by a truck and fell to the ground hitting a number of vehicles below.”
“Nobody was injured in the incident.”
“The string of lights have now been removed by Limerick City and County Council for repair. The Christmas Lights for Limerick City cost in the region of €100,000 in 2017.”
The company of the truck said to have been involved in the incident have been contacted for comment.