Police teams are examining the scene where the van at the centre of the ongoing security alert in Derry was hijacked.
The drama began in Ederowen Park in the Galliagh area at around 12.30pm when at least two masked men placed the suspect device in the back of a van belonging to a furniture chain store and ordered the driver, who had been making a delivery, to take it to Strand Road police station in the city centre.
However, the driver drove the van for less than two miles and abandoned it on Buncrana Road close to St Columb’s College and St John’s Park.
The driver’s assistant was ordered to stay in the house.
Police have sealed off an area around the van and a number of residents, school staff and workers at business premises in Springtown Road have been evacuated.
Motorists are being advised to avoid the area.
Police have also sealed off an area around the house in Ederowen Park to which the furniture was being delivered.
Police forensic teams are at the scene and detectives have carried out door-to-door inquiries.
Those responsible have been condemned by SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood who branded the attempt to bomb the police station as “cowardly.”
Mr Eastwood said: “Derry will not be dragged back to the barbarity of the past by mindless thugs devoted to terror.
“Our city has made tremendous strides towards a bright future and such acts of attempted destruction will be viewed with utter revulsion by all right thinking people.
“It appears that Strand Road police station was the intended target for this device. But for the brave actions of the person who was ordered to transport the suspected bomb we could be faced with devastating consequences this afternoon.
“In recent years Derry has been hitting international headlines for all the right reasons. We cannot allow our new image to be tarnished by those who are hell-bent on recreating the mayhem of the past.”
Mr Eastwood concluded: “This wanton attack is to be utterly condemned and it is time those cowards responsible to realise there is no place for terrorism in our society.”