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Derry bin bomb could have killed, say police officers

By Donna Deeney

Published 13/08/2015

The security cordon on the Skeoge Road in Derry where a bin was destroyed
The security cordon on the Skeoge Road in Derry where a bin was destroyed

Police have confirmed an explosion in Londonderry on Tuesday night was a bomb with the potetntial to kill.

Dissident republicans are suspected of being behind the blast.

A police officer said it had "all the hallmarks" of a dissident republican attack.

"Those who left this device showed no regard for the safety of anyone in the area," said Supt Mark McEwan.

"The device was left in a waste bin, and shrapnel from it could have killed or seriously injured anyone close by."

Residents said it felt as if the ground shook after the bin exploded shortly before midnight on Tuesday.

Bomb experts were called to the scene yesterday where they examined the remnants of the destroyed bin.

The Skeoge Road between the Buncrana Road and Glengalliagh roundabout, which is the main link between Derry and Inishowen, remained inaccessible for most of yesterday while further searches of the area were carried out.

Margaret Donaghey said she was just getting ready for bed when the blast occurred.

She said: "I had just tidied up and turned off the television when the explosion happened.

"For a split second I thought it was the TV, the noise was so loud, but I realised it was outside.

"I didn't go out but I didn't go to bed either because I thought 'that's a bomb and we will be forced out of our homes', so I waited up but the police didn't come.

"I eventually went to bed but I didn't sleep well, unlike my husband was already in his bed and sound asleep when it all happened. He hasn't been able to get to his work because of the cordon, which is a bit annoying, but what can you do?

"This is happening all too often in this town."

A man, who did not wish to be named, also heard the bomb going off.

He said: "I went outside after it went off to see what had caused the noise.

"It was really loud and my windows shook from the blast." SDLP councillor for the area Brian Tierney said: "This has caused significant disruption for local people and commuters travelling into Derry.

"The area is also right beside a field that young children use to play in over the summer.

"An explosion, of any nature, could have put those children at risk and those behind it have been utterly reckless."

Ulster Unionist MLA Ross Hussey said those responsible were making life miserable for residents.

He said: "Once again local people and the security forces have had their personal safety put at risk by faceless thugs and cowards as the result of an indiscriminate attack."

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