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Bomb hoax forces people from homes and sparks health centre chaos

By Donna Deeney

Published 21/11/2015

The burnt-out car being linked to the bomb alert
The burnt-out car being linked to the bomb alert

A security alert near Londonderry's Strand Road police station ended after a suspicious object was declared a hoax.

People living in Bayview Terrace were evacuated from their homes while experts examined the device.

Disruption began shortly after 10.30pm on Thursday and continued into yesterday, which resulted in health centre patients missing appointments.

Dr Simon O'Hagan, a GP at Bayview Medical Practice, said: "This was incredibly inconvenient for our patients. If someone had arrived here acutely unwell and needing to be seen, we would not have been able to facilitate that.

"The people doing these kinds of attacks need to think about this. It is unacceptable."

Police have connected a car hijacked in the Brandywell area of the city to the security alert.

They believe the black Volkswagen Passat, which was forcibly taken from the driver at Quarry Street half-an-hour before the alert, was used to move the device.

The vehicle was later found burnt out at Hamilton Court, also in the Brandywell area.

Supt Mark McEwan said: "The security alert began with the discovery of a suspicious object in Bayview Terrace shortly before 10.30pm last night.

"The object was examined by Army (ammunition) technical officers, and they have declared it a hoax. At this time we are investigating a possible link between the alert and a vehicle hijacking in Quarry Street at around 10pm.

"The blame for disruption this alert has caused lies squarely with those responsible for leaving the object in Bayview Terrace.

"I am thankful to local people for their support and for their co-operation."

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