Belfast Telegraph

Bomb found near Belfast nursery was primed and ready to go off

By Deborah McAleese

A small bomb discovered close to a childcare facility in east Belfast was ready to explode at any time, it has been revealed.

Several residents, including young families, were forced to evacuate their homes for up to five hours on Tuesday night after the device was found close to a number of gas pipes at a housing complex close to Short Strand.

Had it not been for the quick actions of a resident who spotted the pipe-bomb-type device and immediately alerted police there could have been "serious destruction and even death", Sinn Fein councillor for the area Niall Ó Donnghaile said.

The device was found at around 8pm close to a service shaft in the Pottinger's Quay complex, which is made up of a number of apartments and also houses the Waterbabies childcare facility.

Several roads in the area had to be closed and residents were unable to return to their homes until around 1am yesterday morning. Police have not yet said who they believe the target was or if the device was being stored for use elsewhere.

After Army bomb experts made the area safe, the PSNI carried out thorough searches to ensure there were no further devices.

"If it had not been for the quick actions of the resident it could have gone off at any stage. It was a very dangerous situation and a very reckless thing to do," said Mr Ó Donnghaile.

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