Woman Dies In Newry Waiting For Ambulance From Belfast

A woman in Newry, County Down, who collapsed while walking home after a night out, died while waiting on an ambulance travelling from Belfast.

According to reports, the woman, aged in her 30s, was walking home with friends after a night out when she collapsed. It is understood that the woman's friends called 999 but were told "there would be a considerable wait as there was not an available crew".

It is understood that an ambulance had to be dispatched from Belfast, 38 miles away, and arriving approximately 45 minutes later.

By the time the ambulance crew arrived, the woman had died.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) are understood to have said that while 10 ambulance crews were planned to be servicing the Southern division on Saturday night/Sunday morning, just three crews began the shift, and was further reduced to one "due to the onset of illness".

The NIAS went on to say that by 3am, the two ambulance crews servicing the area were delayed at Criagavon Area Hospital, waiting to offload patients, as the hospital was also under considerable pressure.

According to a report by the BBC, NIAS Control Room staff said that they felt "helpless" as they waited for the ambulance to arrive.

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