Austin package explosions: Police say third blast is likely connected to earlier incidents


A package explosion that killed a teenager in Texas may be connected to another deadly blast earlier this month, and police say residents should be wary of any unexpected packages arriving on their doorsteps.

Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters that investigators believe the two incidents — one of which occurred early Monday morning — followed similar patterns. Both were delivered early in the morning, for instance, and neither were delivered by a service like the US Postal Service, he said.

“The incident is very similar to the coincident that occurred in Austin back on March 2,” Mr Manley said while updating the press about the Monday morning package explosion that killed a 17-year-old and severely injured an adult woman who was in the room at the time.

Soon after the Monday morning blast, police confirmed that they were responding to another explosion in the city, which they later said was related to the package explosions.

Austin-Travis County EMS tweeted to confirm that a woman in her 70s was being transported to the hospital from that third explosion, which took place in a southeast neighbourhood of the city.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were both helping the Austin Police Department investigate the explosion, Mr Manley said.

The second explosion occurred just before 7 am Monday morning, about 11 miles from where the March 2 explosion occurred, according to an Austin TV station. The original call to Austin police was made at 6.44 am.

The Monday morning explosion was being investigated as a homicide, Mr Manley said, and that the March 2 — when 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House was killed — incident was now being investigated as murder as well. That case had originally been seen as a homicide, but had been labelled as a “suspicious death” because police were unable to determine if Mr House had constructed the bomb himself.

Monday morning’s package explosion was about 11 miles from the March 2 explosion, and about 5 miles from the Austin Convention Center where the South by Southwest festival is conducting some activities.

The identification of the Monday morning victims was not immediately made public, though the Associated Press reported that the victims were both African American, as was Mr House.

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