A suspicious object discovered in a residential area of Derry yesterday has been declared a “viable device”.
A PSNI spokeswoman said the device was discovered by a member of the public close to McGill Court at around yesterday (February 29).
“Shortly before 4:20pm, a member of the public came across a piece of copper piping in the area. ATO were tasked to the scene and after the contents of the piping were examined, it was declared a viable device,” she says.
“The object has been taken away for further forensic examinations and enquiries are continuing.”
Derry’s police chief condemned those responsible.
Area Commander Chief Inspector Garry Eaton said leaving a device in an open space where a child could have found it was reckless and shows an abhorrent disregard for the safety of the local community.
“I am sure the residents in that area and the wider public will be just as angry as I am about this discovery. They have every right to be outraged however what we need now is information about who left the device there in the first place.
“Did you see anyone acting suspiciously around the green area in recent days? If so, please do not hesitate to get in contact with police.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Gerry MacLochlainn says the device could have killed.
“While it is not yet known what group or individual may have been responsible for leaving this device in McGill Court , what is known, if it had detonated it could have caused serious injury to anyone in the vicinity .
“I am making it clear to those responsible for leaving this viable pipe bomb ,that the community does not want this and those behind it need to stop.
“In leaving this device they have shown no regard for the people of Ballymagroarty.”
SDLP Councillor John Boyle said it was difficult to understand the mindset of those responsible.
“This was an incredibly irresponsible act which was an attack on the whole community.
“It is hard to fathom the mindset of people who would leave any explosive device in an open area where children play.
“It is no thanks to those who carried it out that we are not dealing with a serious injury or worse.
“I would urge anyone with information about this incident to provide it immediately to the police.”
Anyone who has any information or who saw anything suspicious in the area is asked to contact Strand Road CID on 0845 600 8000.
Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.