THESE are the faces of the tragic family who died in last night’s Buncrana pier tragedy.
They lost their lives despite the valiant efforts of passersby who went into the water at their own personal risk to try and save them.
Two adults and three children lost their lives when the Audi Q7 4 X4 they were in entered the water at the slipway in Buncrana.
All five were from the Galliagh area of Derry.
Mayor of Derry Elisha McCallion is to open a book of condolence to allow the public to express their sadness at the deaths
The bodies of a woman Ruth Daniels, 57, who is understood to be from the Shantallow area, her teenage daughter, Jodie Lee Daniels 15, Sean McGrotty 46, originally from the Creggan area, and his two children, Mark 12 and Evan James 8, drowned.
Post mortems are currently being carried out this morning at Letterkenny University Hospital.
Their remains were recovered from Lough Swilly after their vehicle, an Audi Q7 Jeep, went into the water off Buncrana pier at around 7.30pm last night.
It is now believed the car slipped on algae as it turned on the pier and then plunged into the water.
The large vehicle was recovered from the water around 9 pm.
An investigation has now been launched into the tragic accident.
A baby girl, aged two months, was rescued with the assistance of a bystander and is in a stable condition in Letterkenny Hospital.
The mother of the children had been on a “hen weekend” in England at the time of the tragedy.
The bodies were recovered during a major search operation involving the Irish Coast Guard helicopter, the Lough Swilly lifeboat and local fishing boats.
Three ambulances and two rapid response cars were sent from Derry by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service to assist with the incident.
Gardaí last night issued a statement on the deaths of five Derry people at Buncrana Pier.
They say a baby rescued when an Audi went off the pier is a girl who is in a stable condition in hospital.
The spokesman said five bodies were recovered from the water after the incident at 7.30pm.
He added: “Gardaí, Emercency Services and the Coast Guard attended the scene following reports that a car had entered the water at Buncrana Pier.”
“A search of the area was carried out and five bodies were recovered from the water, three males, one adult/two children and two females, one adult and the age of the second to be established.
The five bodies were taken to Letterkenny General Hospital where post mortems are being arranged.
“A baby girl was rescued from the car, with the assistance of a bystander. The baby is currently in a stable condition at Letterkenny General Hospital.
“At this point it is not propossed to make a Garda spokesperson available. The matter will be reviewed following a case conference tomorrow morning.
“Gardaí are appealing for witnessess and anyone with information is asked to contact Buncrana Garda Station on 074 9320540, The Garda Confidential Line, 1800 666111 or any Garda Station.”
Gardaí are treating this matter as a tragic accident – the car may have accidentally slipped into the water after the driver tried to turn the heavy vehicle round on algae.Tags: