Saturday 27 December 2014

Gardai search for injured man after car blast

Ken Foy and Conor Feehan

Published 31/03/2014 | 06:44

The scene in Long Lane after the car exploded. Twitter: Annashanley
Picture of the blast on Dublin's Long Lane. Credit: Alan Bennet @poloBoy
Picture of the blast on Dublin's Long Lane. Credit: Alan Bennet @poloBoy
Picture of the blast on Dublin's Long Lane. Credit: Alan Bennet @poloBoy
Picture of the blast on Dublin's Long Lane. Credit: Alan Bennet @poloBoy
The car that exploded in Dublin city centre

THE suspect who planted a bomb under an SUV in Dublin was severely injured by the blast, gardai believe.

This afternoon officers appealed for a taxi driver who may have picked up a man - "injured and bleeding" - at approximately 11pm in the south inner city last night to come forward.

Sources say that “a huge amount of blood” was found at the scene of the bomb attack.

The owner of the destroyed vehicle, who runs a business in the locality, was uninjured and did not wish to comment when contacted by the Herald.

A manhunt is underway for the suspect who was seen covered in blood fleeing the scene at Long Lane shortly after 11pm.

Gardai are appealing for the man to come forward saying: “We are concerned as to this person's well being.”

The army bomb squad was called to the scene by gardai after locals in the area near the old Meath Hospital reported hearing a massive bang and seeing an SUV type vehicle on fire at around 10.50pm.

Witnesses say a man was seen running from the scene dripping with blood.

"Gardai in Kevin Street  investigating  the circumstances surrounding an incident on Long Lane, Dublin 8 at approximately 11.00pm last night in which a car was found on fire following a suspected explosion are making a further appeal to members of the public," a spokesman said. 

"In particular they are appealing for a Taxi driver who they believed picked up a fare (a male passenger who was injured and was bleeding) at approximately 11pm on the 30th March on New St./Clanbrassil St junction, Dublin 8 heading towards St Patricks Catherdal.

"The fare was picked up outside a take-away/public house, or any taxi drivers who may have been approached by a male as described above to contact Kevin Street Garda Station on 01 6669400."

Three units of Dublin Fire Brigade and two ambulances raced to the scene after the blast was reported.

One house beside the vehicle, which was a black Volvo, had its doors and windows blown in by the force of the blast, and other neighbouring houses were also damaged.

"One of the neighbours who ran out said he saw a man dripping with blood at the scene," said one resident.

However, Dublin Fire Brigade said it had not taken any casualties from the area, leading to questions as to where the injured man went to after the explosion.

Garda Supt Dave Taylor today confirmed a man had been seen leaving the scene of the explosion who was "very badly injured".

"Witnesses reported seeing a man fleeing the scene towards New Street and Clanbrassil Street and he had suffered significant injuries and require urgent medical attention, we are appealing for this man, or anyone in a taxi who may have picked him up, to come forward," he said.

"We are concerned as to this person's well being," he added.

All circumstances surrounding the blast and the fire are being investigated, but sources say it appears some sort of explosive device was used to blow the vehicle up.

Gardai sealed off the section of Long Lane pending a technical examination.

Members of the army bomb squad arrived back at the scene this morning following last night's post-blast analysis.

Later this morning gardai used black plastic sheeting to cover a second car that was parked two in front of the burned-out SUV.

The fire happened in the narrow laneway that runs alongside the old hospital, with a high wall to one side and a row of terraced homes on the other.

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