Northern Ireland news

`Party bike' tours will continue 'as usual' after passenger took ill

Police at the scene where a man became ill and fell off a `party bike' in Belfast city centre on Wednesday night. Picture by Alan Lewis/Photopress
Marie Louise McConville

A `party bike' which takes customers on tours of Belfast city centre will continue to operate tours "as usual" over the weekend just days after a man took ill and fell off the multi-seat vehicle.

A man, believed to be aged 19, took ill on the tour at around 6pm on Wednesday night in the Amelia Street area.

Staff from Wee Toast Tours, which operate the bikes, went to the aid of the man, who is understood to have suffered a heart attack.

He was then transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital however his condition was last night not known.

The `party bike’ vehicles, which seat multiple people, have become a familiar sight in central Belfast.

They allow groups of revellers to pedal along city centre streets while music is played and they consume alcohol.

Jennifer Kenna, Managing Director of Wee Toast Tours, said the service would continue as normal, describing what had happened as a "tragedy".

The businesswoman said the man who took ill had been on a team-building exercise with staff from Queen's University. She said the party included a total of 19 people, who were travelling on two bikes.

"Our driver noticed something was wrong and pulled over," she said.

"He was in a group with colleagues from Queen's University. They were having a team-building event. There were two bikes".

Mrs Kenna said Wee Toast Tours staff ran into the Maldron Hotel to get a defibrilator.

"Our people are fully trained in CPR and safety. They jumped into action," she said.

"Two nurses came out of the homeless shelter and started helping with CPR.

"They were all working together".

The managing director said the man had been "scheduled to go to work after, so he wasn't drinking".

"It was really a tragedy," she said.

She added that tours would "continue as usual".

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