Package bomb explodes at FedEx near San Antonio


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A package bomb that authorities believe is linked to the recent string of Austin bombings exploded early Tuesday inside of a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio, leaving one worker with minor injuries.

Hours later, police sent a hazardous materials team to a FedEx facility in Austin to check on a suspicious package there. There was no immediate word about whether that package contained a bomb.

FBI agent Michelle Lee said the explosion happened at around 1 a.m. at a FedEx facility in Schertz, which is just northeast of San Antonio and about 60 miles (95 kilometers) southwest of Austin. One worker was treated for minor injuries and released, according to statements issued by the Schertz Police Department and FedEx.

Lee said that although it is still early in the investigation, “it would be silly for us not to admit that we suspect it’s related” to the four Austin bombings that have killed two people and injured four others since March 2. She didn’t have details about the size, weight or description of the package.

The most recent bombing in Austin injured two men Sunday night in the quiet neighborhood of Travis Country in the southeast of the city. It was triggered along a street by a nearly invisible tripwire, suggesting a “higher level of sophistication” than agents saw in three early package bombs left on doorsteps, according to Fred Milanowski, agent in charge of the Houston division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Sunday’s attack means the carnage by a suspected serial bomber that has terrorized Austin for weeks is now random, rather than targeted at someone in particular.

Authorities haven’t identified the two men injured Sunday, saying only that they are in their 20s and white. But William Grote told The Associated Press on Monday that his grandson was one of them and that he had what appeared to be nails embedded in his knees. Police described the men’s injuries as significant, and both remained hospitalized in stable condition on Monday.

Grote said his grandson was cognizant but was still in a lot of pain. He said on the night of the bombing, one of the victims was riding a bike in the street and the other was on a sidewalk when they crossed a tripwire that he said knocked “them both off their feet.”

“It was so dark they couldn’t tell and they tripped,” he said. “They didn’t see it. It was a wire. And it blew up.”

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