Derry on alert: Police respond to reports of abandoned vehicle, homes evacuated
Police in Londonderry are responding to a report of an abandoned vehicle on the Northland Road area of the city.
In a post on social media, PSNI Foyle said: "Folks we are responding to a report of an abandoned vehicle on the Northland Road close to the Glenbank Road junction. Please avoid the area at this time."
Folks we are responding to a report of an abandoned vehicle on the Northland Road close to the Glenbank Road junction. Please avoid the area at this time.Posted by PSNI Foyle on Monday, January 21, 2019
It is understood a delivery van was hijacked and has been left in the middle of the road.
Sad scenes, which I did not film of pensioners being evacuated from homes into the night. Frail, frightened 76-year-old man in his pyjamas being led into a car. I had to help 83-year-old Myra leave her home, another lady was standing crying in her dressing gown. #Derry pic.twitter.com/iBr1vznDJ8— Leona O'Neill (@LeonaONeill1) January 21, 2019
Early reports from the scene state homes in the area have been evacuated.
Foyle SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan wrote on Twitter: "Another blow against the Empire... The third security alert of the day, this one on Northland Road will result in many elderly people having to leave their homes on an absolutely freezing night. Disgraceful."
Another blow against the Empire..the third security alert of the day,this one on Northland Road will result in many elderly people having to leave their homes on an absolutely freezing night. Disgraceful. pic.twitter.com/dtNoHKi1nb— Mark H Durkan (@MarkHDurkan) January 21, 2019
Police have also said there has been an attempted hijacking of a bus in the Moss road area of the city.
We appreciate there is a lot happening in the city tonight folks. It’s important we have the right information out...Posted by PSNI Foyle on Monday, January 21, 2019
The news comes following two security alerts in the city on Monday that are ongoing.
Army Technical Officers have carried out a controlled explosion on a hijacked van in Londonderry's Circular Road.
A second security alert is taking place less than a mile away on Southway after a Royal Mail van was hijacked at gunpoint and abandoned.
It comes after the Derry courthouse bomb attack on Saturday night.
Just before 1.45pm police received a report a delivery driver's vehicle had been hijacked on Southway by four masked men, one was said to have had a gun.
Large bang heard in Creggan #Derry just now. It may have been a controlled explosion— Leona O'Neill (@LeonaONeill1) January 21, 2019
I have spoken with the Chief Constable by telephone regarding the incidents in Londonderry. @PoliceServiceNI needs our full support to remove those responsible from our streets. Bombs in the 70s & 80s brought nothing but hardship - so will these. We will not be dragged back.— Arlene Foster (@DUPleader) January 21, 2019
The two occupants in the van were ordered to drive the vehicle to the Lonemoor Road and leave it.
Police had been clearing the area due to an earlier alert on Monday morning at around 11.30am.
PSNI Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said police were making to work the area safe.
"Sadly, within two hours today, we are dealing with a second security alert in the City, which means even more disruption for the local community," he said.
"I know this second security alert and the measures we are taking to keep people safe will cause significant inconvenience for the local community, but we have no choice.
"I want to ask the public for their patience, and thank them for their co-operation while we work to make the scene safe."
Earlier a white Transit van was reportedly hijacked by three masked men who threw an object in the back of it before abandoning it in Derry's Creggan estate.
A number of homes have been evacuated.
SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan said that he was told that the driver of the vehicle had been asked to take the van with a package that had been placed in it into the city centre.
Mr Durkan said the driver then abandoned the van in the Circular Road area.
"This incident is yet another major disruption for residents in the Creggan area, on top of the disruption and distruction that was caused in the city centre over the weekend," he said.
"The only people suffering here are local people. These attacks are as illogical as they are unacceptable."
Army Technical Officers have carried out two controlled explosions on the hijacked van which was abandoned on Creggan’s Circular Road in #Derry. A second hijacked van sits just down the street at Southway pic.twitter.com/hWFIZm7RHA— Leona O'Neill (@LeonaONeill1) January 21, 2019
A section of Circular Road in the Creggan estate #Derry has been cordoned off as police examine a van that has been hijacked and abandoned, beside hundreds of homes in the area. Around 30 homes have been evacuated. More to follow pic.twitter.com/GeCC2M4qGu— Leona O'Neill (@LeonaONeill1) January 21, 2019
The white van at the centre of today’s security alert in Creggan Estate. The van was hijacked earlier by masked men, an object thrown into it and it was abandoned near these homes on Circular Road. The alert comes just two days after a car bomb exploded in #Derry city centre pic.twitter.com/KtS75w0jbA— Leona O'Neill (@LeonaONeill1) January 21, 2019
The latest incidents follows an explosion outside Londonderry Courthouse in Bishop Street on Saturday.
A delivery driver was hijacked and a bomb was planted in the car. Nobody was injured in the explosion.
Police have blamed the attack on the New IRA.
Five people have been arrested in connection with the incident.
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