Belfast Telegraph

Translink bus hijacked and passengers ordered off 'by man with knife'

The Metro 4A bus was hijacked in the Ballybeen area on Saturday night.
The Metro 4A bus was hijacked in the Ballybeen area on Saturday night.

A 33-year-old man has been charged with hijacking a bus with an offensive weapon in the Dundonald area.

The PNSI said the driver of a Translink bus was threatened by a man armed with a knife at the bus stop on Cairnsmore Avenue in Ballybeen shortly before 8pm on Saturday.

The man forced the bus driver to drive for a distance before forcing him and passengers off the bus at knifepoint.

The bus was then involved in a collision a short distance away at which point the hijacker fled.

Police arrested the 33-year-old suspect in Millars Lane a short time later.

He has been charged with a number of offences including hijacking, aggravated vehicle taking, possession of an offensive weapon with intent and driving whilst unfit.

He is expected to appear at Downpatrick Magistrates court in the morning.

A Translink spokesperson said: “We can confirm a 4A Metro bus was hijacked and damaged in the Ballybeen area just before 8.00pm last night. (Saturday 19th January 2019)

“The driver and 8 passengers were ordered off the bus. There were no reports of any injuries.

“After the incident, services were suspended in the Ballybeen area whilst the incident was investigated, however normal services were resumed later in the evening.

“We totally condemn any threat to our staff or customers and are assisting the PSNI with their investigations into the incident”.

Alliance Leader Naomi Long, who represents East Belfast,  condemned the incident.

Posting on social media she said: "Utterly shocking attack, terrorising passengers and the driver and depriving people in Ballybeen of services last night. Thank goodness no-one was hurt."

Any witnesses to the incident are asked to contact police by calling 101, quoting reference 1229 19/01/19.

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