Five dead as car plunges off pier at Irish scenic spot

LONDON (AFP) - Five people died on Sunday (March 21) after a car plunged off a pier at a beauty spot in north-east Ireland, but police said a baby girl was saved with help from a passing bystander.

Sea and air rescue scrambled a mission after reports that the car had fallen into the water at Buncrana, a popular tourist town on the bank of sea inlet Lough Swilly in County Donegal.

Five bodies, including of at least two children, were recovered from the water by the local coastguard.

Police said they included a man, a woman, two boys, and another female, but a baby was rescued from the sinking vehicle with help from a member of the public.

Irish broadcaster RTE reported the infant may have been thrown or handed out of the car window to rescuers as it sank.

"A baby girl was rescued from the car, with the assistance of a bystander. The baby is currently in a stable condition," the police said in a statement.

A spokesman for the Irish coast guard at their nearby base in Malin Head said the infant "was rescued from the car and taken to the hospital".

"We retrieved five other members from the car," he added.

Mr Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland, posted on Twitter: "Very sad news of fatalities in an incident at Buncrana Pier tonight. Thoughts are with relatives of those involved and rescue services."

The police said the cause of the accident was not yet clear.