Wednesday 21 March 2018

Pipe bomb explodes before US marines charity run

Investigations are continuing
Investigations are continuing

A pipe bomb has exploded in a New Jersey seaside town shortly before thousands of runners were due to take part in a 5K charity race for US marines and sailors.

No injuries were reported after the blast in Seaside Park, Ocean County, at around 9.30am local time on Saturday.

The Ocean County prosecutor's office added that no surrounding structures suffered any apparent damage.

The third annual Semper Five run was cancelled, and the immediate area was put on lockdown.

The pipe bomb was in a plastic rubbish bin when it exploded. Authorities immediately cleared the pier and beach area, and bomb-sniffing dogs were used to conduct further searches.

Authorities said there was a report of at least one other explosive device that a New Jersey State Police bomb team would make safe, but no further details were disclosed.

Officials said runners had been scheduled to pass the area around the time the blast occurred, but the start of the race had been delayed after an unattended backpack was found, and the area was mostly empty at the time of the explosion.

Some homes near the scene were evacuated as a precaution, and the public has been urged to avoid the area.

The group which organised the event thanked Seaside Park police and the other emergency responders "for their quick action" following the blast. It was not immediately clear if the charity race will be rescheduled.

Several racers and people who said they were at the event took to social media to praise the way race officials and law enforcement handled the situation.

They said officials had kept them informed about what was happening and helped keep people calm.


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