Man dies after stolen car catches fire and crashes

A man has died after a stolen car caught fire in Londonderry.

The vehicle reportedly struck a lamppost in Fairview Road early on Saturday morning, police said.

A PSNI statement said: “The vehicle is reported to have caught fire and travelled along Fairview Road for a short distance before coming to rest close to the junction of Galliagh Park.

“Police and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene and the body of a male was discovered inside the vehicle.

“The vehicle is believed to have been stolen in the Oakfield Avenue area of the city earlier.”

Chief Inspector Jonny Hunter appealed for anyone who observed a red Mazda being driven in the area of Oakfield Avenue or Fairview Road before the collision or anyone who witnessed the incident to contact officers.

Fairview Road remains closed and police thanked the local community for continued patience and co-operation while the investigation continues.

SDLP Ballyarnett councillor Brian Tierney appealed for residents in the Galliagh area to be patient with traffic disruption.

He said: “A police investigation in the Galliagh area has led to significant traffic disruption for local residents.”

Many of the main roads in and out of the area have been closed off around Whitechapel roundabout.

Mr Tierney added: “I would appeal to local people to be patient as this operation continues this morning.

“I have asked PSNI officers to consider reducing the size of their cordon at the earliest opportunity but we all have to respect the policing response that is happening here.

“Bus services will also be disrupted and carers may have difficulty with this morning’s visits. I would ask people to be aware of these disruptions and try to plan accordingly.”