A 61-year-old woman has been killed and 13 other people were injured, including five gardaí, after being hit by a stolen bus in Dublin.

The driver of the bus, a 36-year-old man, from Tallaght, has been arrested. He was treated earlier at Tallaght hospital and is now being questioned at Kevin Street Garda Station.

The incident began early this morning when the man took the 53-seater coach from a private bus depot in Rathcoole where he worked.

The woman, also from Tallaght, died after her car was struck at Bluebell on the Naas Road.

As the bus continued travelling along the Naas Road, there were a number of other collisions. At three locations - Davitt Road, the Red Cow and in Rathcoole - gardaí fired shots trying to hit the bus tyres, and they also used spikes to try to stop the bus.

By the time the bus crashed in Rathcoole in south county Dublin, there were a number of accident scenes along the Naas Road, which are now crime scenes.

It was at this bus depot in Rathcoole that the man crashed the bus and was arrested by gardaí

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to come forward, especially people who may have taken photographs or video footage. Witnesses are asked to call the incident room at Kilmainham Garda Station on 01 666 9700.

Traffic restrictions will remain in place on the Naas Road for several hours following the incident. Inbound traffic on the N7 is being diverted onto the Longmile Road towards the city. Outbound traffic on the Naas Road is down to one lane from the Long Mile Road junction.

In a statement issued this evening on behalf of Dualway coaches, the company whose bus was involved in today's tragic incident, the owners expressed their sympathy with the dead woman's family.

A spokesman said they had no indication that anything like this might happen and there was no ongoing row, dispute or disagreement between the company and the bus driver.