2 Dead Following Series of Connected Package Explosions in Austin

A 17-year-old boy was killed and at least two women seriously injured on Monday after a pair of packages exploded in Austin, Texas. Authorities say the blasts are likely connected to another package eruption that left 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House dead just over two weeks ago.

“It is very similar to the incident that occurred in Austin on March 2,” Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told reporters. “There are similarities that we cannot rule out that these two items are, in fact, related.”

Manley also said that, just as in the March 2 incident, the packages in Monday’s blast were not delivered through U.S. Postal Service or private mail carriers. Instead, they were placed directly on the front doorsteps of the homes in question — all of which are located within 16 miles of one another.

Both cases are being investigated as homicides, and Manley noted that because the explosions happened at homes of African-American residents, authorities “cannot rule out” the possibility that the explosions were hate crimes.

Local police are urging residents to report and not open any suspicious or unexpected packages delivered to their home.

Both the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) are working with local authorities to investigate the eruptions.

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