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Explosion in Austin injures 2 men, authorities say; fourth incident this month

Explosion in Austin injures 2 men, authorities say; fourth incident this month

Hours after Austin’s police chief urged the suspect in recent bombings to turn themselves in, local and federal emergency units responded to another explosion in which two more people were injured, authorities and sources said.

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The Austin-Travis Country EMS tweeted Sunday night that there was a “critical incident” at Dawn Song Drive in Austin and medics were on their way to treat two males in their 20s with serious injuries.

“We do believe, based on what we’ve seen, that this was a bomb,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a 1:30 a.m. local time press conference.

According to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, the two victims were taken there for treatment and are in good condition.
“We are working on the belief that this is related to the other bomb incidents that have happened in our community,” Manley said.

A law enforcement source tells ABC News it will take some time to determine whether the explosion — at about 8:30 p.m. local time Sunday night — is linked to the earlier bombings. Officials will have to wait until morning to see if the devices were similarly built.

The three bombings this month, over an 11-day period, killed two people and injured two others.

Those three bombs were left as packages on peoples’ doorsteps, while Manley said early Monday that this device was different. It was placed on the side of the road. The victims were injured either while riding their bikes, or pushing them, Manley said.

“It is very possible that this device was activated by someone handling or triggering a trip wire,” Manley said, though he call that “unconfirmed” as the site would not be processed until daylight hours.
The Austin Police Department responded to a so-called “Bomb Hotshot,” according to a tweet. It urged anyone in the “4800 block of Dawn Song Dr.” to avoid the area. It said the victims had “unknown injuries.”

Manley issued a “safety alert” in the wake of the bombing, urging people located within a half-mile radius of where the incident occurred to stay indoors. He said the issue to stay indoors would be lifted at 10 a.m.

“Stay inside your home until we have had a chance to deem this neighborhood safe,” Manley said at a press briefing late Sunday. “That will not be, at a minimum until daylight, given the darkness and the size of the area that we want to go in and check to make sure again that this neighborhood is safe.”

Police also said school buses would not be able to access the Travis Country neighborhood where the explosion took place and said “any tardies or absences due to this situation will be excused.”

Sources told ABC News that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were responding, too.

“We want to put out the message that we’ve been putting out and that is, not only do not touch any packages or anything that looks like a package, do not even go near it at this time,” Manley said. “Given the darkness, we have not really had an opportunity to really look at this blast site to determine what has happened.”

Earlier Sunday, the FBI’s San Antonio office announced a reward for information had increased to $100,000.