Officer escapes bomb put under car
A PSNI officer narrowly escaped serious injury or death yesterday when a boobytrap bomb, attached to the underside of his car, fell off as he reversed out of the driveway of his home.
The officer unwittingly drove over the bomb before he spotted the device. He immediately raised the alarm and 12 neighbouring families at Ardanlee in the Culmore Road area of Derry were evacuated.
The bomb exploded six hours later. Members of the public and local residents at the scene of the incident were advised by police to seek hard cover in advance of an impending controlled explosion. As a remote controlled robot used by British army bomb disposal touched the device, it exploded, causing windows in the officer's home and adjoining homes to blow in.
The officer, who has been in the PSNI for approximately 10 years, lived at the house with his family.
Supt Gordon McCalmont, local Divisional Commander, said he believed "violent Dissident Republicans" were responsible.
"This officer is my colleague and he was on his way to serve the community in which he lives when this incident occurred. We are very fortunate we are not talking about a serious injury or death. Other members of the public were in the street when the device was found shortly after 9.30am," he said. "This was a viable device designed to kill which was planted in a public area.
"My colleague and his family have been traumatised by this incident and our thoughts are with all of them during this difficult time for them."
Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire said it was a "despicable attack".
"The people who planted this device intended to kill or cause really serious injury," he said.
"Their murderous intent is in stark contrast to the focus of this police officer who went out this morning to serve the community."