Derry bus driver traumatised after being 'ordered to transport bomb'

Derry bus driver traumatised after being 'ordered to transport bomb'

A DERRY bus driver has been left traumatised after being forced to transport a viable bomb to a police station last night.

Two men boarded the bus not far from the Ballymagroarty estate and instructed the driver to take the device to Strand Road police station, according to the PSNI.

She drove a short distance and abandoned the bus in the Northlands area of the city before contacting the police.

Ch Supt Stephen Cargin said the bus driver was told that the bomb had been fitted with a two-hour timer. It was hidden in a large bag and placed behind the driver's seat.

"I'm sure, where it was located behind the driver's seat, it could've caused serious injury or death to the driver or the other people on the bus," he said.

"The driver is extremely traumatised as you can imagine."

"There were nine to 10 passengers on the bus at the time" and if the device had exploded there could have been "dire consequences" he added.

Stormont Transport Minister Danny Kennedy praised the driver’s bravery in handling the situation, especially as there were passengers on board.

“Attacks on public transport impact the entire community who depend on buses and trains to get to work, school, hospital and go about their daily business,” he said.

Army bomb disposal teams had to evacuate around 30 families until they deemed the device to be safe. They found that it was a small but viable explosive device.

Residents on Northland Road were allowed to return home at 3.30 am.