There’ve been more big bang theories in Derry this week than you’d find in an A to Z of cosmology.
Within minutes of Derry’s big bang, just before 5pm on Tuesday, social media sites and telephone lines were buzzing with various beliefs as to what actually happened - some plausible, some witty, and some downright fantastical.
As police and the media frantically scurried around on both sides of the River Foyle trying to uncover the truth behind the blast - which shook buildings, caused debris to fall and even shattered windows - the flood of theories continued to swell.
In the seconds after the explosion a local councillor tweeted ‘was that an explosion?’ which drew an almost immediate response from a tweep who felt a whole building shake.
At around the same time it was posted on the Journal’s Facebook site that a local estate agents had been damaged in a blast, followed minutes later by a telephone claim that a bank in the Waterside had been targeted in a bomb attack.
That was followed by several more posts and calls to the ‘Journal’ which pinpointed with some authority the site of ‘explosion’ at several respective points in the city including Bond Street, John Street, Strand Road, Clooney Terrace and Spencer Road.
Theories on the cause of the big bang were equally as diverse.
The first explanation, and one which many have since agreed is not entirely implausible, was that two tyres blew out on a lorry at John Street. One passer by said he was positive that the blow-outs were what caused the bang, describing the boom as “absolutely deafening”. That scenario led one witty observer to claim the incident may have been the work of the ‘Wheel IRA’.
It was later suggested that gas cylinder exploded after being hurled down the Waterside’s Quarry Steps while later again, amid all the confusion, police announced that the bang may have been an attempted attack on officers patrolling in the Waterside.
Despite the seriousness of the situation for those who were evacuated from their homes during the police investigation, there was quite a bit of levity circulating about the big bang as the speculation gathered pace.
Some of the more witty comments were that ‘someone burst a really big balloon’, and someone ate a feed of beans for lunch in the hospital’.
And well people may laugh at the wildfire of speculation from the Derry wans as afterall, so far there have been no reports of anyone injured in Derry’s big bang - and the police even enjoyed the added bonus of stumbling across a big bag of marijuana on the Quarry Steps.
In the end, whatever the cause of Derry’s mysterious big bang of January 10, 2012 you can be sure that the truth is out there . . .
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