PSNI: Derry bomb alert expected to continue until at least midnight

Colr. Brian Tierney. (DER0314PG016)
Colr. Brian Tierney. (DER0314PG016)

A security alert in Derry is expected to continue until at least midnight according to a local political representative.

The alert began this afternoon at Ballyarnett Village and the Journal understands it is centred on an empty house in the area.

Some people have been evacuated from their homes as a result of the bomb scare.

SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney attended the scene of the incident and has said that the security forces have indicated to him that the incident may continue until at least midnight.

Racecourse Road has been closed between its junction with Alder Road and Ballyarnett roundabout. A section of Ballyarnett Village has also been closed to traffic.

Speaking from the scene, Councillor Tierney told the Journal: “The police and bomb disposal unit seem to be treating this very seriously. There are a lot of them on the ground here.

“The PSNI have also advised me that the bomb scare could potentially constitute a serious threat to property and to the safety of a number of local families who have been moved from their homes as a result.

“This is very distressing for families many of whom were arriving home to this completely unacceptable disruption.

“This is a completely unacceptable and senseless incident in what is usually a very quiet area with many young families. The PSNI have said they are working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation and get local families back home. Anyone with information should contact the PSNI immediately.”

Councillor Tierney also confirmed that despite social media comments to the contrary a controlled explosion has not yet been carried out.

Earlier, PSNI Chief Inspector Tony Callaghan said: “Police are currently investigating these reports and would urge anyone who sees anything out of the ordinary in the area to maintain a safe distance and report to police immediately.”