They Were Enjoying Happy Hour. Then, 'Pure Panic'

14 hurt, 4 critically, after vehicle smashes into pub in Arlington, Va.
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2022 7:00 AM CDT
'Pure Panic' After Car Crashes Into Pub, Injuring 14
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/carlballou)

(Newser) – Fourteen people kicking off the weekend outside of DC were injured Friday night when a vehicle slammed into the side of a pub in Arlington, Va., setting the building on fire. NBC News reports that four people were critically hurt after the car plowed through the front of Ireland's Four Courts around 7pm. Per the Arlington County Police Department, four others were hospitalized with injuries that weren't believed to be life-threatening, while another six people were treated for minor injuries at the scene and didn't require hospitalization.

ARLnow reports that the vehicle's driver and at least one of the pub's workers are said to be among those hurt; the employee suffered from smoke inhalation, says Dave Cahill, the pub's general manager. He adds that the four people who were seriously injured are thought to be customers who were at the pub for happy hour. "We all heard a bang, an explosion, so I just turned around and I saw all the debris coming towards the back of the pub," one of the restaurant's servers tells NBC Washington. "It was just pure panic." She adds: "I thought the whole place was just going to explode."

Cahill tells ARLnow that the speeding vehicle, which ended up about 20 feet inside the building after the crash, caused "very significant" damage to the front of the restaurant, but he says he thinks the updated back portion and kitchen may not have suffered too much from the fire. At around 9:30pm, Arlington Fire & EMS said the building was determined by engineers to be "structurally sound," but that it remains uninhabitable for the time being, per CBS News. In a tweet Friday evening, the pub thanked the local police and fire departments for their rapid response and asked for prayers for those who were hurt, noting, "We are devastated." An investigation into the crash is ongoing. (Read more Arlington, Va. stories.)

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