New Jersey’s Seaside Park became the scene of an explosion today when a pipe bomb blasted in a trash can.
The explosion occurred at the same route that the Seaside Semper Five 5K charity run was to take later today. Authorities cancelled the race immediately afterwards.
Seaside Park is a beach resort in New Jersey. Even though no injuries have taken place in the Jersey town, residents in the areas surrounding the trash can have been ordered to evacuate their homes and take shelter in a safe space at some distance.
News12 New Jersey‘s Kurt Siegelin tweeted the following photograph taken of the green trashcan in which the explosion occurred, before the arrival of the police.
Chad Reudin took this photo at 9:39 per his phone. Explosion happened a few minutes before. After pic, police arrive pic.twitter.com/AjUvDCYas6
— Kurt Siegelin (@kurtsiegelin) September 17, 2016
There has not been any notable damage to the roads and structures surrounding the small bomb. Police and other law enforcement officials have not yet commented on the reason behind the blast or the possible perpetrator and what his or her motivations might be.
The device that exploded was connected to one more explosive that did not explode, it has been revealed. According to News12‘s report, “multiple additional devices” were revealed to have been attached to the main device that exploded initially.
The bomb squad, however, has detonated all of them and is combing the area for more explosives with the help of sniffer dogs.
According to the Reuters report on the explosion in New Jersey, the race was organized to raise funds that would benefit war veterans and their families. The report points out that the name of the run — ‘Seaside Semper Five 5K’ –is an allusion to Semper Fidelis. The Latin phrase which stands for “always loyal” in English, is the motto of the U.S. Marine Corps.
The race, organized by the non-profit MARSOC Foundation, was to be run by no fewer than 1,600 people.
The Foundation aims to provide financial support to Marine veterans whose treatments are not provided for by the U.S. government, in addition to support in reintegration and advocacy for the same.
— NYPDCounterterrorism (@NYPDCT) September 17, 2016
According to a report on CNN, the quite family resort town has been significantly “rattled” by the explosion. The New Jersey borough of Seaside Park has a population of fewer than 2,000 people.
The route of the New Jersey race would have provided a view of the Jersey Shore on one side and the picturesque hotels on the beach on the other. The run had already been delayed before authorities decided to cancel it in the light of the explosion.
The CNN report mentions that according to a Facebook update by the Ocean County prosecutor’s office the delay of the race “thankfully avoided a large number of runners in the area.”
Prayers to all the runners and families at the 5K Run in New Jersey#Thishastostop
— Julie Garrett (@DensJewel) September 17, 2016
Runners and residents in the small town were naturally surprised at the explosion. NBC quoted a runner named Adam Carswell who saw smoke rising from the trash can that held the bomb.
“It was a big puff of smoke, fairly large. It makes me very angry that this could happen in a sleepy little town like Seaside Park after Labor Day.”
The blast in New Jersey — no matter how small — brings up memories of the Boston marathon bombing of April 15, 2013. In two explosions and multiple rounds of shootings afterwards, three people were killed and 264 others were injured in varying degrees of severity.
The product of a lone wolf terrorist attack by the Chechen brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the bombs used for the Boston marathon bombing were pressure cooker devices assembled at home.
Investigations are already afoot on the New Jersey explosion and the people who might have been behind it.
[Featured image by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images]