Sixth Texas parcel bomb blast leaves U.S. investigators baffled

AUSTIN/SCHERTZ, Texas (Reuters) – The series of parcel bombs in Texas that have killed two people and put residents on edge escalated yesterday with two more incidents, a bomb that exploded at a FedEx distribution center near San Antonio and one that was discovered before it detonated.

A third explosion last evening in Austin was not a package bomb and officials said it did not appear to be related to the other incidents.

The latest cluster of booby-trapped packages brought to six the number of explosive devices – five that detonated – that have come under investigation in Texas this month as the work of a possible serial bomber.

Baffled investigators have taken the extraordinary step of making public appeals asking that whoever is responsible to at least come forward with a demand or an explanation.

Early on Tuesday, a package filled with nails and metal shrapnel exploded at about 12:30 a.m. on a conveyer belt at FedEx sorting center in Schertz, near San Antonio, knocking a female employee off her feet, officials said. The package was being sent from Austin to another address in Austin and passed through a sorting center in Schertz, about 65 miles (105 km) away.

Authorities said the worker was treated for her injuries at the scene.

Later in the morning, authorities were alerted to a suspicious package at a FedEx facility in Austin. Police and federal agents called to the scene found the package contained a bomb and it “was disrupted by law enforcement,” according to a joint statement from Austin police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

No injuries were reported, the statement said.

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