Today, irish twitter users gradually broke a news story about a Luas (irish tram) crashing in to a bus with plenty of injuries and possible fatalities. In Dublin city center (especially O’ Connell Street), you always have plenty of photographers, tourists and workers roaming about so if something big happens, the public are on it in a flash.
At 2.59pm, cyberax262 tweeted this;
At 3.03pm darraghs tweeted this;
Luas crash on O’Connell St, looks pretty bad, first carriage off the tracks
At 3.03pm MarkBagnall tweeted the first picture of the event – roughly 4 minutes after it had happened;
Luas v Bus on O’Connell St, really hope no one was seriously injured http://twitpic.com/hxjqw
From then on, twitter was buzzing and more and more people arrived on the scene and took photos, added tweets, reported what they saw… office workers nearby took aerial pics… several news sites scrambled to break the story and many took pictures from flickr and twitpic which users had submitted.
It’s yet another example of how twitter is taking over from traditional news sites and becoming THE place for breaking news around the world. Most of the news sites are a good half an hour or more behind the times as they obviously can’t use twitter as a trusted source and need to take time to gather the stats and verify sources etc…