deep shock | 

Woman (40s) dies after car entered River Lee in Cork as two kids rescued

The children were rescued after they apparently managed to free themselves from the vehicle as it entered the water.

The children were later taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for a full medical assessment.

Ralph Riegel and Kevin Doyle

The body of a woman has been recovered from the River Lee in Cork city centre after two children were earlier saved during a rescue operation.

The woman, who is in her 40s, is believed to have drowned. A car was lifted from the water early today using specialist equipment.

The two children were rescued after they apparently managed to free themselves from the vehicle as it entered the water.

Initial reports indicated that the woman and two children had been returning home after visiting a city restaurant when the accident occurred.

A postmortem will be carried out on the woman's body to establish the exact cause of death.

The children are understood to be uninjured but were deeply shocked by their ordeal.

The incident occurred shortly after 7pm at Kennedy Quay just off Cork city centre.

Gardaí, Cork Fire Brigade and Cork River Rescue units were at the scene within minutes.

The Coast Guard's Rescue 117 also responded to the alert and provided air support for the major unfolding search operation.

A number of pedestrians who were in the area also raced to help.

The two children - understood to be aged 11 and 10 years - were given precautionary medical treatment at the scene.

They were later taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for a full medical assessment last night.

The children are understood to be from the Cork area.

Minutes after entering the water, the vehicle sank.

Onlookers reported that a female was trapped inside the vehicle as it vanished from sight.

The incident occurred shortly before high tide along the city quays.

Initial reports indicated that the woman and two children had been returning home after visiting a city restaurant when the accident occurred.

A Garda investigation into the full circumstances of the incident is now underway.

CCTV security camera footage from around the area will be examined by gardaí to determine the precise movements of the vehicle involved in the minutes leading up to the accident.

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