Residents of a care home have spoken of their terror as a bomb detonated just yards away before they could be moved out.
A total of 27 people aged between 61 and 89 were gathered in the foyer of the Metropole Care Home in Londonderry when the bomb exploded across the road at the tourist office.
Some of the residents were hooked up to oxygen machines while the eldest had just returned from hospital hours before.
Bridie Murphy said people were petrified when the bomb went off. “By the time they got us all down from the flats the bomb had actually gone off. It scared the life out of the older people.
“By the time they got people onto the bus people were petrified.
“The bus had difficulty getting down Bridge Street and we could hear the second explosion in the distance, but the first one was very loud.”
Bridie and her sister Sheila Murphy (75) had left Derry during the Troubles over 35 years ago and relocated to South Africa. She said on returning five years ago to settle, they never expected to have to deal with bomb scares.
“It’s a disgrace and whoever did this really need their backsides kicked,” Bridie said.
“We left because of the Troubles and we came back to a beautiful Derry, too wonderful for words, and to think people would do this to our town is so sad.”
Sheila, who was also evacuated, added: “Coming back to Derry you would be thinking all the Troubles were behind you, and then this. Nobody wants it.”
Margaret Doherty (83) was preparing to go to bed when staff started coming in to begin the evacuation.
“There isn’t any need for it,” she said. “We thought all this kind of trouble was gone, but it doesn’t look like it.
“We do not need any more of this. Life is too short.”