Austin area rocked by fifth bomb in under 3 weeks

FBI says the blast at an Austin-area FedEx facility could be linked to the other recent bombings

by Tess Owen
Mar 20 2018, 2:26pm

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A fifth explosion hit the Austin area in the early hours of Tuesday morning, further adding to fears of local residents reeling from the recent series of bombs.

An employee at a FedEx sorting facility outside San Antonio, about an hour from Austin, suffered minor injuries after a package on an overhead conveyor blew up shortly after midnight, sending shrapnel everywhere.

Local news outlets reported that the package had been sent from Austin, to an Austin address. It detonated at about 12:25 a.m. while it was traveling along a conveyor belt at the FedEx facility. Seventy-five employees were working there at the time.

“We are investigating it as being possibly related to our open investigation,” FBI spokeswoman Michelle Lee said. “We can’t know for sure until we have an opportunity to look at the evidence itself.

On Monday, Police Chief Brian Manley said that he believes a serial bomber was responsible for the previous four blasts, which have left two dead and injured six in less than three weeks.

The first three bombs were delivered in cardboard packages and left in front of residential homes, but were not delivered via the US Postal Service or a service like FedEx. The fourth explosion, on Sunday evening, was the result of a tripwire bomb (a sort of booby-trap), which had been planted on the side of the road in a quiet, residential neighborhood in southwest Austin. Two passersby were badly injured.

Cover image: Interim Austin police chief Brian Manley, at podium, stands with Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Fred Milanowski, left, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, second from right, and Assistant police chief Troy Gay, right, during a news conference near the site of Sunday's explosion, Monday, March 19, 2018, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

This article originally appeared on VICE News US.