Two people have died and two others suffered serious and potentially life-threatening injuries after a series of package explosions in Austin, Texas, authorities say. There have been three blasts in the city since March 2, including two within hours of each other on March 12, police said.
The three explosions have not yet been confirmed to be related, but Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters that similarities between the incidents have led investigators to believe they are connected.
The first explosion happened about 6:55 a.m. on March 2 in the 1100 block of Haverford Drive, police said. A 39-year-old man, Anthony Stephan House, was killed. The second explosion occurred on March 12 about 6:45 a.m. in the 4800 block of Oldfort Hill Drive. That blast killed a 17-year-old boy and sent a woman in her 40s to the hospital with serious injuries. The third blast happened about 11:50 a.m. in the 6700 block of Galindo Street. A woman in her 70s was taken to the hospital with serious and potentially life-threatening injuries, authorities said.
The Austin Police Department, the FBI, the ATF and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service are investigating, along with other agencies. A joint task force is being set up. It is not known if the victims have been linked, and police are not sure if the victims who were killed and injured were the targets of the bombs.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Police Chief Warned Residents, ‘If You Receive a Package That You Are Not Expecting or Looks Suspicious, Do Not Open it, Call 911 Immediately’
Interim @chief_manley: If you receive a package you’re not expecting, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY! DO NOT OPEN. #Austin Police, FBI & ATF investigating second package explosion today; third this month. pic.twitter.com/povbUztf8a
— Jeff Stensland (@JeffStensland) March 12, 2018
Police have told residents of Austin to be aware of their surroundings and report anything that is suspicious, especially an unexpected package. Police Chief Brian Manley said at a press conference that all of the explosions have occurred at residents.
“If you receive a package that you are not expecting or looks suspicious, DO NOT open it, call 911 immediately,” Police Chief Brian Manley tweeted.
The packages that exploded in the first two incidents were not sent through the U.S. Postal Service and appear to have been dropped off at the home, Manley said. Private carriers, like UPS and FedEx, also told police that they have no record of deliveries to either of the homes. Information about the package in the third blast is still being determined, authorities said.
Austin Police are already stretched thin because of the SXSW music, film and technology conference, which will be in the city until March 18. Manley said they have received offers from other agencies for support. He also sent a message to those in Austin for SXSW, saying that they should be aware and alert of what is going on, but said it is not believed there is any threat …read more