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(AP) – Investigators believe a package bomb that killed a teenager and wounded a woman in Austin yesterday is linked to a similar bombing that killed a man elsewhere in the city this month, and they’re considering whether race was a factor because all of the victims were black.
The explosion happened inside a home near the Windsor Park neighbourhood and killed a 17-year-old boy and badly wounded a woman who is expected to survive, Austin’s police Chief Brian Manley told reporters.
Shortly after the news conference ended, police were called to investigate another explosion in a different part of east Austin. Authorities haven’t said whether that explosion was also caused by a bomb.
Austin-Travis County emergency medical services tweeted that the later blast left a woman in her 70s with potentially life-threatening injuries and that a second woman in her 80s was being treated for an unrelated medical issue. Authorities haven’t said whether the injured woman is also black.
The explosions happened with hundreds of thousands of visitors in the city for the South by Southwest music, film and technology festival, and authorities urged the public to call the police if they receive any packages they aren’t expecting.
The first explosion yesterday happened about 12 miles (20 kilometres) from the home where a March 2 package bombing killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House. The March 2 blast was initially investigated as a suspicious death, but is now viewed as a homicide.
Manley said investigators believe the deadly attacks are related, as in both cases, the packages were left overnight on the victims’ doorsteps and were not mailed or sent by a delivery service. He said the US Postal Service doesn’t have a record of delivering the package to the east Austin home where Monday’s explosion occurred, and that private carriers like UPS and FedEx also indicated that they had none, either.