From the archive: 51 premises blasted by massive IRA van bomb - December 1979

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Extensive structural damage to 51 premises, including several private houses...four people elderly people left homeless...and the Christmas hopes of many traders left in ruins - that’s the toll of a massive van bomb blast in Spencer Road, in the Waterside district of Derry late on Wednesday night.

Yesterday the Provisional I.R.A. admitted responsibility for the bomb.

The bomb, estimated to have been between 250 and 300 lbs., went off shortly after 10.30 p.m.

In a preliminary report yesterday the police said it caused extensive structural damage to 51 premises in the Spencer Road-Duke Street area including private houses. The damage was caused mostly to windows and roofs. Twelve of the shops and two houses were so extensively damaged it is now feared they may have to be demolished.