Child threw petrol bomb

The Glen-Galliagh Road, scene of an alleged petrol bomb attack on a car this week. 0909JM40
The Glen-Galliagh Road, scene of an alleged petrol bomb attack on a car this week. 0909JM40

A mother and her six year-old girl escaped death when a petrol bomb was hurled at them by a child in Galliagh, the ‘Journal’ has learned.

The petrol bomb struck the rear door of a taxi they were travelling in, exploding just inches below the window.

The taxi driver who asked not to be named said his passengers were extremely lucky not to be killed in the horrifying ordeal.

“It was no more than four inches below the passenger side rear window - any higher and it would have come straight through the window and exploded in the back seat. The wee girl and her mother would have been killed.”

He said the person who threw the petrol bomb was only a child. “He was between 10 and 13 years of age, no older than that,” he added.

The cabbie said he was driving along the Glengalliagh Road near Leafair at around 7pm last Saturday whena youngster lighting the petrol bomb “caught his eye”.

“He was standing on the banking at Leafair pitches and I thought to myself ‘there’s no way he’s going to throw that at my car’.

“I sped up to get away but the next thing I heard was the bang of it hitting the car and exploding in a fireball.”

The taxi manstopped the car immediately and saw the offender speed off towards Leafair on a BMX-style bike. “He was wearing a hooded top which was brown and grey - I didn’t chase him because I was just so shocked and had to check if the passengers were alright.

“The mother and young girl couldn’t even speak they were so shocked and terrified. It was a very traumatic ordeal for all of us.”

Children who were playing nearby told the cabbie that the offender’s name was Jordan but they would not reveal his surname. The driver added: “I want to know what this boy’s parents are at and how he was able to get away with throwing a petrol bomb at a car in broad daylight on a Saturday.

“I’ve never heard of anything like this in my life - it’s madness.”

The car was scorch damaged in the incident but no one was injured.

Police in Derry are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information on the incident to contact them on 0845 600 8000 or anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Alternatively information can be passed on to the Foyle City North Neighbourhood Policing Team directly – details can be found on the PSNI website.