By David Hunter
A second security alert is underway in Derry- Londonderry this afternoon after a Royal Mail van was stolen and abandoned.
Police are currently at the scene of a security alert in the Circular Road area, while another security alert is taking place less than a mile away on Southway.
Army Technical Officers have carried out two controlled explosions on the hijacked van which was abandoned on Creggan’s Circular Road in #Derry. A second hijacked van sits just down the street at Southway pic.twitter.com/hWFIZm7RHA— Leona O'Neill (@LeonaONeill1) 21 January 2019
It's understood three masked men hijacked a van in the circular road area at around 11.30am this morning.
Before fleeing, it's believed the men threw an object into the back of the vehicle.
Safety cordons are now in place in the Ballymagowan and Circular Road areas.
Superintendent Gordon McCalmont said: “Unfortunately, a number of people have had to leave their homes after the report of a vehicle hijacking at around 11:30am today.
Police in Derry/Londonderry dealing with 2nd security alert; Southway. Approx 1:45pm delivery driver’s vehicle was hijacked by 4 masked men, 1 of them reported to have had a gun. 2 occupants in the van ordered to drive it to Lonemoor Rd & leave it there.Cordons being put in place— PSNI (@PoliceServiceNI) January 21, 2019
“We are fortunate a community centre in Central Drive in the Creggan has been made available to those who have been evacuated.
“A number of cordons have also been put in place.
“I know this security alert will cause significant disruption to many people, but we will not take any chances and we have no option but to take these measures in order to keep people safe.
“This is the last thing the people of the City need, or want, but I want to reassure people we are doing all we can to minimise disruption.”
The incident comes only days after a major car bomb in the Bishop Street area of the city centre.