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Pipe Bomb Blast in New Jersey Cancels Charity Run

  • VOA News

Police say a pipe bomb in this trash can exploded shortly before a charity race in Seaside Park, N.J., Sept. 17, 2016.

Police say a pipe bomb in this trash can exploded shortly before a charity race in Seaside Park, N.J., Sept. 17, 2016.

A pipe bomb exploded in a trash bin in a New Jersey beach town Saturday, forcing cancellation of a charity foot race involving thousands of runners.

No injuries were reported, but authorities in Seaside Park called off the "Seaside Semper Five," a five-kilometer race meant to raise money for U.S. military personnel. The event was hosted by members of the U.S. Marine Corps.

The FBI was leading the investigation, but officials hadn't said whether they thought the blast was an act of terrorism. Authorities said three pipe-bomb-type devices wired together had been found near the boardwalk. Only one of the devices was thought to have detonated.

Brad Cohen, the acting special agent in charge of the FBI office in Newark, New Jersey, told reporters Saturday that federal, state and local law enforcement officers were "working together to conduct a thorough investigation to find out who is responsible."

Following the explosion, the area was put on lockdown. Several homes in the neighborhood were evacuated. Residents were later allowed to return home, but several nearby beaches remained closed.

A man walking along the boardwalk when the blast occurred told a local news station that after hearing the blast he thought, "That was one hell of a start to a race."

Officials have not said whether the race will be rescheduled.

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