SEASIDE PARK, N.J. — A pipe bomb blew up in a plastic garbage can minutes before thousands of runners were to pass by in a charity 5k race to benefit U.S. Marines and sailors.
No one was injured. The race was canceled and homes were evacuated.
The discovery of an unattended backpack just before the race began caused a delay in the competition that may have saved many runners from harm. The blast occurred around 9:30 a.m. as runners prepared to take part in the Third Annual Seaside Semper Five 5K.
The race, after the initial delay, was canceled and residents were told to take cover. Motor vehicles and pedestrians were being directed by police away from a perimeter set up along the border between Seaside Park and Seaside Heights.
Police told people trying to get into Seaside Park that “an incident” occurred in the town and that bomb-sniffing dogs were working with investigators to “clear the area.”
Barricades were erected from the water’s edge, across the beachfront, over the boardwalk and along the streets and police officers were stationed to keep people from going in or out of “the park,” as the town is known locally.
“Access to the beach is not possible today,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement.
(c) 2016 The Philadelphia Inquirer
Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.philly.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.