PIPE BOMB detonated on route of Jersey Shore military 5K race: Thousands of runners, including wounded vets and their children, evacuated after trash can explodes; further two explosives found
- Pipe bomb exploded shortly before the Semper Five Run at Seaside Park, New Jersey
- The bomb was in a garbage can when it exploded – no one was inured in the explosion
- The race, which is a 5K to benefit marines and sailors, was canceled because of the blast
- At least 1,000 people had already gathered nearby to begin the third-annual Semper Five Run
- The event gathers huge crowds of veterans – many wounded – and their families, including children
A pipe bomb exploded in a Jersey Shore town shortly before thousands of runners were due to take part in a charity 5K race to benefit marines and sailors on Saturday.
At least 1,000 people gathered just blocks away from the explosion, including wounded veterans and their families, many with children.
There were a total of three devices in the garbage can in Seaside Park — including two that didn’t explode.
No injuries were reported in the blast.
Police located at least one separate additional device, and bomb-sniffing dogs continue searching for more possible devices in the area, NJ.com reported.
The start of the race was initially delayed after authorities were alerted to an unattended backpack. The pipe bomb was near D Street when it exploded about 9.30am, the exact time when runners would have been passing by the location.
‘It was a big puff of smoke, fairly large,’ said Adam Carswell, who was registered to run the race, to NBC 4 New York.
A rep for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office says the device was too sophisticated to have been a prank.
‘We don’t know what this individual’s agenda is,’ Al Della Fave told ABC News.
‘We did find that within that same garbage can there were other devices wired to the one that did explode,’ Della Fave told CBS.
Pieces from the explosion were blown out as far as 150 feet.
‘I thought it might have been an explosion of some sort or a sonic boom,’ Lauren Rispoli, who heard the explosion from her bed, told NBC 4 New York.
Officials say runners had been scheduled to pass by the area around the time the blast occurred.
‘Out of extreme precaution, this year’s Seaside Sempre Five has been canceled due to an unidentified suspicious backpack found at the race site,’ event organizers said Saturday morning.
‘The safety and security of our participants, spectators, staff and volunteers is of utmost importance.
The race – the third annual Semper Five run – was canceled.
The area remained ‘on lock down while bomb dogs search of additional devices’ into the afternoon, the county prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are investigating, alongside a number of other agencies.
‘We’ve evacuated within a four-block perimeter,’ Della Fave told NJ.com. ‘Traffic into Seaside Park is closed, but (drivers) are allowed to go to Seaside Heights.’
It wasn’t clear when the boardwalk and beach will reopen.
The 5K was organized by the MARSOC Foundation, which is a nonprofit that raises money to support active duty and medically retired Marines and Sailors, as well as their families.