Viable device left in Antrim residential area could have been ‘devastating’

Security alert sparked following report of suspicious object in Newtownabbey

Residents were evacuated from the street, which is close to the Abbey Centre on the outskirts of Belfast. Photogrph: Paul McErlane/EPA

Residents were evacuated from the street, which is close to the Abbey Centre on the outskirts of Belfast. Photogrph: Paul McErlane/EPA

 

The explosion of a viable device left in a residential area of Co Antrim could have been “devastating”, police have said.

A security alert was sparked on Saturday afternoon following a report of a suspicious object in Felden Place, Newtownabbey.

The area was sealed off as police and army bomb experts launched an investigation.

Residents were evacuated from the street, which is close to the Abbey Centre on the outskirts of Belfast.

The security alert ended on Saturday evening.

A PSNI spokesman said a viable device had been found.

“Police and ATO attended the scene, following the report of a suspicious object in the area,” he said.

“The object, which has been declared a viable device, was made safe and taken away for examination.

“Residents have now been allowed to return to their homes.”

He added: “We’re grateful to local people for their patience. Families had to leave their homes, having their afternoon disrupted, while we worked to make the area safe.

“Most importantly, it’s fortunate that no-one was physically injured. The consequences of the attack could have been devastating.

“I am appealing to anyone with information to contact us on 101, quoting reference number 869 of 22/02/20.” – PA