UPDATE: Austin Police now say that the explosion was not a package bomb, but an “incendiary device” inside a package. They “have no reason to believe this incident is related to previous package bombs.”
AUSTIN, Texas — At least one person was injured Tuesday night in a reported explosion in a south Austin, Texas, neighborhood, officials with Austin-Travis County EMS said.
There were no details on what caused the explosion or if it was connected to a string of recent bombings in Texas.
EMS said a man in his 30s suffered potentially serious injuries and was taken to a hospital.
The news of the most recent blast came on a day two bombs in packages in a different part of Texas caused authorities to widen their investigation.
The two packages, one that exploded at a FedEx sorting center near San Antonio and another later discovered at a location more than an hour away, are connected to four bombings in Austin, law enforcement agencies said Tuesday evening.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tweeted Tuesday evening that it, the FBI and Austin police had confirmed the connection. They were also responding to the reported explosion in south Austin.
One package Tuesday injured a FedEx worker in Schertz, near San Antonio, when the parcel went off just after midnight, officials said.
A second package, which was found at a FedEx facility near Austin’s international airport, was being examined by authorities, the FBI’s San Antonio office said in a tweet Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier, San Antonio Police Chief Bill McManus had said at a news conference that a second suspicious parcel had been found at the Schertz location, but that was later contradicted by federal law enforcement officials, who said the second suspicious parcel had been found at an Austin FedEx facility.
Tuesday’s developments are adding to the anxiety in the state capital, where four package bombs and reports of other dubious parcels have Austin in what one US lawmaker from Texas described as “absolute panic.”
It’s the fifth bomb to go off in Austin in less than a month. It’s the sixth one — and the second one today — to explode near Austin. Another package bomb exploded Tuesday morning at a FedEx facility near San Antonio. An employee at the FedEx facility suffered minor injuries.
Every blast has killed or injured victims: The first explosion killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House on March 2.
The second blast came more than a week later, on the morning of March 12, killing 17-year-old Draylen Mason.
The third blast happened several hours later and critically injured a 75-year-old woman.
Those three blasts all happened after someone left explosives-laden packages on the victims’ doorsteps.
On Sunday night, a fourth bomb blew up and injured two men walking in a residential neighborhood.
The packages on doorsteps weren’t mailed: Instead, they were hand-delivered and left on people’s doorsteps, likely during overnight hours. The blast at the FedEx facility is the first bombing involving a shipping carrier.
The FedEx facility wasn’t targeted: The FedEx facility was not the intended target of the Tuesday morning blast, Schertz police Chief Michael Hansen said. He said the package was traveling along an automatic conveyor when it exploded.
Authorities suspect the bombings may be related: Shortly after the fifth bombing, FBI San Antonio spokeswoman Michelle Lee said that “we suspect it is related to our investigation” into the previous bombings.
Check back for updates.