Dramatic picture shows moment car bursts into flames in Magherafelt

A dramatic picture of yesterday's one-vehicle crash in Magherafelt in which two young men were seriously injured has emerged.

Monday, 14th November 2016, 4:40 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:15 pm
BMW car engulfed in flames at King Street in Magherafelt

The men, believed to be from Toomebridge and Magherafelt areas, suffered a number of injuries, including burns.

The BMW car is understood to have crashed into an electricity pole at King Street and then exploded into flames in the middle of the road shortly after 2pm on Sunday.

Local man Darren McGrail is being hailed as a hero for his role in freeing the men from the burning car and extinguishing their burning clothes.

Pulling a hoodie over his head to protect himself, Darren managed to get the injured passenger out first.

He had apparently got his leg caught in the seat belt while trying to get out of the window after the crash.

Darren's dad, Mark, said no one saw the driver in the car until a hand suddenly appeared at the window.

Darren rushed in again and dragged him out through the open window on to the roadway.

"There was talk that there was a third person in the car but this turned out not to be the case," said Mark.

"The car was engulfed in flames very fast and there would have been no way to save them."

He said it was lucky the BMW's car windows were down at the time or the occupants would have been "gonners".

Mark comforted the injured until the emergency services arrived. "Their clothes were on fire and they were badly burnt," he said.

His mum, Janet, explained they came upon the accident by chance after visiting Darren.

"There were people standing around on the street and nobody was doing anything to help them," she said. "Darren without thinking put his own safety at risk and pulled them out."

Police are investigating the cause of the accident, which resulted in part of the street being closed to traffic on Sunday night.