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Quinn's coach gutted by fire in ‘malicious’ Belfast attack

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

A DUNGANNON coach hire firm has been forced to write off one of its vehicles following a fire in Belfast that Police are treating as deliberate.

The fire that destroyed the £250,000 bus started outside a hostel on Belfast's Sandy Row.

The coach had been transporting a group of Taiwanese and German tourists across Northern Ireland.

The company's owner, Michael Quinn, said the incident was very upsetting for the tourists, many of whom have lost possessions as a result of the blaze.

"It was very upsetting, but we got them back on the road again," he said.

"They lost a few small possessions - blankets, hats, stuff like that was lost - but thankfully nothing major.

"All their main luggage was in the hotel with them."

The cause of the fire remains unclear. It is understood that the German bus also destroyed in the fire cost around £500,000.

"It is a lot of money for the insurance companies to be paying out," said Michael Quinn, who continued: "It came completely out of the blue. We've had vandalism and stuff like that before, but this is the first time we have had a coach burned."

Police suspect that the fire may have been started maliciously.

Inspector David Gibson said: "It appears as though the fire started under one of the buses before spreading to the second.

"While the exact cause is still under investigation, it is thought that the fire was started deliberately."

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