The Area Commander for Derry City and Strabane District Council, Superintendent, Mark McEwan, has said that an explosive device planted near the probation services office in Crawford Square went off before police were able to evacuate people from their homes.
Speaking at a press conference at Strand Road Police Station on Tuesday morning, Superintendent, McEwan said those responsible show utter disregard for people living in the area.
“The warning that we were given was completely inadequate and the warning we were given is not what happened.”
When asked if the device went off before PSNI and members of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service were able to evacuate people from their homes, Superintendent McEwan said: “The PSNI was given a time that the device was due to go off but it exploded before that time. Police and members of the fire service were reacting but the bomb detonated.”
“We had to evacuate 20 homes and erect a cordon in order to allow ATO to do their work and make safe that area,” said Superintendent McEwan.
“It was a viable device but at this stage of the investigation I can’t go into any further detail.”
Superintendent McEwan refused to be drawn on unconfirmed reports that a second device had been discovered in the area but reaffirmed the message that ATO had made the area safe.
“What I can say is that anything that was found in the area was made safe by ATO and we are confident the area has been cleared now and the phase of the operation we are into now is the investigative stage.”
Police and members of the fire service were reacting but the bomb detonatedArea Commander for Derry City and Strabane District Council, Superintendent, Mark McEwan