Latest: Residents evacuated after suspected car bomb attack in Derry

Latest: Residents evacuated after suspected car bomb attack in Derry

Latest: Residents evacuated after suspected car bomb attack in Derry

Latest: Residents have been evacuated after a suspected car bomb exploded in Derry.

The PSNI as well as firefighters and the ambulance service sealed off the scene close to a courthouse on Bishop Street in the city.

Police have also indicated on their PSNI Foyle Facebook page that they are concerned about a second car on the street.

Handout photo taken from the PSNI Twitter page @PSNIDCSDistrict of the scene of a suspected car bomb on Bishop Street in Derry.
Handout photo taken from the PSNI Twitter page @PSNIDCSDistrict of the scene of a suspected car bomb on Bishop Street in Derry.

Witnesses earlier said they heard a loud bang and saw a large plume of smoke.

Local residents, including those in a sheltered housing complex for elderly people, are being evacuated.

There has been no reports of any casualties at this stage.

The vehicle was consumed by flames (Steven McAuley/PA)
The vehicle was consumed by flames (Steven McAuley/PA)

A photograph was tweeted from a PSNI Twitter account warning people to stay away from the area.

The tweet from the PSNI’s Derry City and Strabane District account also warns members of the public that Bishop Street is currently closed, adding the words “suspected car bomb”.

The scene of a suspected car bomb on Bishop Street in Derry. (Steven McAuley/PA)
The scene of a suspected car bomb on Bishop Street in Derry. (Steven McAuley/PA)

A further update was posted on the PSNI’s Foyle Facebook page.

“As far as we know no one injured. There is another car we are not happy about. There are ongoing necessary evacuations.”

PSNI officers sealed off the area following the explosion (Steven McAuley/PA)
PSNI officers sealed off the area following the explosion (Steven McAuley/PA)

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster said it was a “pointless act of terror” which “must be condemned in the strongest terms”.

“Only hurts the people of the City. Perpetrated by people with no regard for life,” she said.

“Grateful to our emergency services for their swift actions which helped ensure there have been no fatalities or injuries.

Sinn Fein Foyle MP Elisha McCallion has condemned the explosion.

“This incident has shocked the local community,” she said. “In particular, there are many elderly residents who live in the area who have been alarmed.

“Thankfully no-one appears to have been injured.

“Derry is a city moving forward and no-one wants this type of incident. It is not representative of the city.

“I would encourage anyone with information about this incident to bring it to the police.”

Local Democratic Unionist MLA Gary Middleton condemned the incident as a “disgraceful act of terrorism”.

“PSNI have confirmed there were no injuries in the serious incident at Bishops Street,” he said.

“Vehicle hijacked with explosion outside courthouse. Disgraceful act of terrorism.”

Alliance Party leader Naomi Long has also voiced her concern about the incident on Twitter, describing it as “very disturbing news”.

The incident happened just a few miles from the border ahead of the 100th anniversary of the war of independence.

The first shots of the war were fired at Soloheadbeg, Co Tipperary on January 21 1919.

Violent dissident republican groups have been responsible for a number of murders over the last 10 years.

They include the killing of Sappers Mark Quincey and Patrick Azimkar outside Massereene Barracks in Co Antrim in 2009 and PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll in Craigavon, Co Armagh in the same year as well as Constable Ronan Kerr in Omagh in 2011.

Sappers Patrick Azimkar 21 (left) and Mark Quinsey, 23, who were shot dead outside the Massereene Barracks, Antrim, Northern Ireland in 2009. (MOD/PA)
Sappers Patrick Azimkar 21 (left) and Mark Quinsey, 23, who were shot dead outside the Massereene Barracks, Antrim, Northern Ireland in 2009. (MOD/PA)

Dissidents were also responsible for the murders of prison officers David Black in 2012 and Adrian Ismay in 2016.

There have also been a number of narrow misses, including the maiming of Constable Peadar Heffron in 2010, when an undercar booby trap bomb left him seriously injured.- Press Association

Earlier (9:17pm): Suspected car bomb explodes in Derry

A suspected car bomb has exploded in Derry.

The vehicle was consumed by flames (Steven McAuley/PA)
The vehicle was consumed by flames (Steven McAuley/PA)

A photograph was tweeted from a Police Service of Northern Ireland Twitter account showing what appears to be a vehicle ablaze.

PSNI officers sealed off the area following the explosion (Steven McAuley/PA)
PSNI officers sealed off the area following the explosion (Steven McAuley/PA)

The tweet from the PSNI’s Derry City and Strabane District account also warns members of the public that Bishop Street is currently closed and to stay away, adding “suspected car bomb”.

The incident appears to have taken place close to a courthouse.

The PSNI said: "Police are in attendance at the scene of an incident in Derry city centre.

"We would ask for patience and co-operation of the public and the business community as we carry out our initial investigations.

"Any info to 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

- Press Association

More on this topic

Old divisions being renewed: NI toxic stew simmering dangerouslyOld divisions being renewed: NI toxic stew simmering dangerously

Man wanted over murder of two soldiers in N Ireland extradited to UKMan wanted over murder of two soldiers in N Ireland extradited to UK

Ex-Wrightbus worker vows company will be ‘best busbuilder in the world again’Ex-Wrightbus worker vows company will be ‘best busbuilder in the world again’

Factory deal paves way for rescue of bus builder WrightbusFactory deal paves way for rescue of bus builder Wrightbus


More in this Section

Gradai confirm body has been found in search of missing fisherman off coast of CorkGradai confirm body has been found in search of missing fisherman off coast of Cork

Mary Lou McDonald and Boris Johnson discuss Brexit in callMary Lou McDonald and Boris Johnson discuss Brexit in call

Gardaí believe visitors from outside Cork may hold key information in murder inquiryGardaí believe visitors from outside Cork may hold key information in murder inquiry

Concern over number of agency social workers hired by TuslaConcern over number of agency social workers hired by Tusla


Lifestyle

As UK legend John Surman gets ready to play at Cork’s jazz fest, he tells Philip Watson about his well-travelled career and why he’s so angry about Brexit.Jazz legend John Surman on a well travelled career and why he's angry about Brexit

Dr Naomi Lavelle answers a weekly science question.Fish live in water all their lives but does that mean that they never get thirsty or do they even drink at all? To answer these questions we need to look at where the fish live.Appliance of Science: Do fish ever get thirsty?

More From The Irish Examiner