Northern Ireland news

Families evacuated after hijacked van sparks security alert

Police were called to the scene at Galliagh Park in Derry shortly before 5am yesterday, Wednesday.
Seamus McKinney

A number of families, including children, have been forced to leave their homes in the middle of the night after a hijacked van was abandoned in a Derry housing development.

A PSNI spokesman said several homes in the Galliagh Park area of Derry were evacuated shortly before 5am yesterday.

Army technical officers carried out a controlled explosion on the vehicle after families were moved to the nearby Templemore sports complex.

The spokesman said: “This follows reports that a white Volkswagen Caddy van had been hijacked in the Bracken Park area of the city (adjacent to Galliagh Park) at around 9pm on Tuesday evening.”

SDLP councillor for the area, Brian Tierney criticised those responsible for the hijacking.

Mr Tierney said the incident was “extremely stressful and worrying” for all of the families involved.

“A number of children were forced to miss school this morning, something they will struggle to understand, particularly after being dragged from their homes in the early hours. My thoughts are with them and their families this morning and also with the driver of the van who was hijacked in the area last night.”

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Northern Ireland news