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Austin hit by explosion police think may be linked to earlier ones

Authorities respond to explosion in Austin, Texas on night of March 18, 2018

KEYE-TV

Last Updated Mar 19, 2018 2:42 AM EDT

EDITOR'S NOTE: See the latest updates here.


Austin police have confirmed that there was an explosion Sunday at a house in southwest Austin. Authorities said two people were injured. There has been no immediate word on the cause of the explosion and officials say it's possibly linked to other explosions that have rattled nerves in Texas' capital.

Officials gave residents a safety message during a late Sunday night news conference urging them to not touch any packages that might appear on their doorstep and to notify police if anything looks suspicious.

Early Monday, police widened their safety alert, saying the latest device may have been set off by a tripwire, so they urged people to stay away from any suspicious devices, backpacks, etc., not just packages. Police said they were working under the assumption the latest blast was linked to the earlier ones -- and was a bomb. They urged people to stay in their homes until at least 10 a.m. to give them time to search for any other possible devices.

CBS affiliate KEYE-TV reported that the incident happened in the 4800 block of Dawn Song Drive near Mopac and 290 around 8:45 p.m. Sunday.

Austin police Chief Brian Manley said investigators will keep the surrounding area closed at least until daybreak as evidence is collected. He also mentioned police received a separate report of a suspicious backpack in the area and are still working to "clear" that.

Austin police wrote earlier that they responded to a so-called "bomb hot spot" call on Dawn Song Drive. Two males were rushed to a hospital with injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening.

The two males were sent to St. David's South Austin Medical Center and a spokesperson said they are in good condition.

The FBI and ATF are on the scene investigating.

Police are currently investigating three explosions that occurred this month and said that they could be crimes of hatred. One package bomb exploded at an east Austin home March 2, killing a 39-year-old man. Two package bombs in other parts of the city exploded March 12, killing a 17-year-old, wounding his mother and injuring a 75-year-old woman.

Officials have upped the reward to $115,000 for information that leads to an arrest for the prior package explosions. Manley said investigators have not ruled out any possible motive or have an indication "what the ideology is behind this."

This is a developing story. Please refresh this page for the latest updates.