Woman injured in Dungiven bus attack

Sandra Major suffered sever injuries as a result of the attack.

Sandra Major suffered sever injuries as a result of the attack.

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A Belfast woman hit by a stone hurled through a bus window on Saturday as the vehicle passed through Dungiven, suffered serious facial injuries.

Sandra Major (61) was on a bus returning home from the Apprentice Boys parade in Londonderry and had to have over 30 stitches to the wound on her face, after stone throwers attacked the bus in which she was a passenger.

A relative told media the incident was shocking.

Margaret Ritchie said: “It was only after the attack that I realised my sister was lying slumped over her chair. I lifted her face up and it was covered with blood, but she hadn’t realised what had happened. It was pandemonium on the bus, people were just yelling, screaming and crying.”

At hospital Ms Major needed surgery to remove glass from her face, had over 30 stitches sewn inside her mouth and five more on her face.

The only occupants on the bus were friends and family of the injured woman. There were no bandsmen or Apprentice Boys and no flags.

Ms Ritchie said they had been going to the parade for 15 years without trouble.

“I don’t know why this year was different,” she said.

Two other women and a man were also injured.

A 16-year-old was arrested and later granted bail by police investigating the incident.

The incident has been condemned by Lord Ballyore, William Hay, who said his thoughts were with those injured.

“This incident should not take away from the good day we had in the city,” he said.

Alderman Maurice Devenney condemned the incident saying it was disappointing that those attending the parade were not allowed to return home safely.

“Once again I have to question the roll of the PSNI,” he said.

“I welcome news that MP Gregory Campbell is going to raise this issue with the PSNI. This is Republicans showing their true colours once again. The silence from local republican public representatives is very evident,” he said.