A Marine Corps charity run on Ocean County, New Jersey had to be cancelled after a pipe bomb exploded in a trash can on the planned route for the 5k race. There is no indication yet that this was terrorist related, but local authorities are comfortable with saying that this was obviously targeting the military. The bomb exploded this morning, though blessedly no injuries were reported. Three more devices were found wired to the original device that exploded, with a second being found later today (via News 12 New Jersey):
Ocean County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Al Della Fave says "multiple additional devices" were wired to the pipe bomb that was detonated, but the others did not go off.
A four-block area around the site has been evacuated, and some residents are being ordered to stay indoors as authorities continue to search for any more suspicious items. Route 35 is closed, and no incoming traffic is being permitted into Seaside Park. Only outbound traffic is permitted.
Della Fave, the prosecutor's office spokesman, says it is too soon to know whether the bomb was placed with criminal or terroristic motives. But he agreed that the incident appears to have targeted U.S. military members and their families, due to the timing and nature of the detonation.
Another witness who spoke with News 12 said he was about a quarter of a mile away from the site of the explosion. He heard it from his location and saw a puff of white smoke rise about 30 to 35 feet in the air.
A suspicious backpack was also found in the area around the race start time and was reported by a passerby. That backpack was later claimed by a high school runner and was determined to have been unrelated to the explosion.
The prosecutor's office says the race was delayed due to strong turnout and last-minute registrations.
About 3,000 people, including 1,600 runners, had been in the area at the time for the event, which is intended to support U.S. military service members.
"Stay inside your home!" Seaside Park police as they patrol Ocean Aveune.— Kurt Siegelin (@kurtsiegelin) September 17, 2016