Belfast Telegraph

Watch: Woman walks past suspect device moments before explosion

WARNING: Video contains swearing

By Jonathan Bell

A woman risked serious injury and her life after she walked past a suspicious object moments before a controlled explosion was carried out.

The device - found to be an elaborate hoax - was left on a path in a housing estate in Londonderry on Sunday afternoon.

Police evacuated families from 20 homes in Glengalliagh Park at around 5pm and the Army bomb squad sent to examine the device.

Police sources told the Belfast Telegraph it looked like a black box with wires and a timer on the outside of it.

Army ammunition technical officers (ATO) dispatched a bomb disposal robot to carry out a controlled explosion. Moments before a controlled explosion was carried out, a woman emerged from one of the evacuated houses and walked directly past the scene. Scores of people watched on in horror.

She was left shaken, but uninjured, police said.

Read more: Anger as suspect device is left on green in Northern Ireland estate with kids playing nearby

After the controlled explosion, the robot overturned on the grass verge and was left immobile for some time.

A second robot had to be dispatched to finish dealing with the device.

Police reminded people of the importance of following officers' advice around security alerts.

"Security operations of this nature bring significant disruption to the community and present challenges to the PSNI as they attempt to minimise disruption whilst keeping the community safe from harm," said a PSNI spokeswoman.

"We attended the area following reports of a suspicious object and ATO were tasked. We called to a number of homes in Glengalliagh Park and advised residents to leave their homes. Some residents agreed to leave their homes however a number of residents declined and were advised to remain inside their homes and take appropriate precautions.

"A resident left their home and walked past the suspicious object while attempts were ongoing to make the object safe.

"We spoke to the resident immediately after and, although she was shaken, she was uninjured.

"Our investigation into the hoax device is ongoing and we would appeal to anyone with information to contact us on 101."

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