Glider bus attacked and shop fire started after two firework incidents in west Belfast

Both incidents happened in the Stewartstown Road area of Belfast Credit: Google Maps

A lit firework has been thrown onto a bus in west Belfast, while another firework incident started a fire at a shop.

Both incidents happened in the Stewartstown Road area of the city on Monday evening.

Around 9.15pm a fire was reported at a retail premises to the PSNI and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service attended and extinguished the blaze.

“At this time, it has been reported that a teenage boy threw a lit firework into the premises which ignited under the till, causing damage to stock and electrical equipment,” Sergeant Hakin said.

“Thankfully, none of the staff who were present reported any serious injuries, however, they have been left badly shaken.

“A short time later, a report was received that a lit firework was thrown in through the door of a Glider bus in the Stewartstown Road area. Enquiries remain ongoing to establish to extent of any damage caused or injuries sustained as a result of this reckless act.

“I would appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time and saw anything, or who may have dashcam, CCTV or other footage, to contact us on 101, quoting reference 1749 of 18/9/23.”

Reminding people about the dangers of fireworks, Sergeant Hakin continued: “This type of activity needs to stop and people need to understand that fireworks are made from explosive material and, if misused, can cause serious and life-changing injuries.

“The law is also very clear regarding the use of fireworks – it is illegal to possess, sell, handle or use them if you do not hold a valid licence to do so. If you are found breaking the law, you could be fined up to £5,000.

“I would appeal to those involved in this activity to consider for a moment the community they are affecting by their behaviour, and refrain immediately from doing so.

“People have a right to live in peace and to feel safe where they live. Those who choose to engage in anti-social and disorderly behaviour are only hurting their own communities, neighbours and friends.

“We ask parents and guardians to also speak to their young people and to know where they are to prevent them from engaging in behaviour which could result in injury or a criminal record.”

A Translink spokesperson said:

“The safety of our customers and staff is our top priority and we utterly condemn this incident.

“We are assisting the PSNI including provision of CCTV from the Glider, and we are liaising with local community representatives and schools as part of our investigation.

“We would also urge parents and guardians to be aware of their children’s whereabouts and to remind them about the serious and dangerous consequences of anti-social behaviour.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.