Federal and state authorities stopped short of calling an explosion in a trash can near the Seaside Park boardwalk as a charity 5K race was about to begin Saturday morning an act of terrorism.
Reports of a second device found in another trash can were unfounded, state Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said just after 2:30 p.m.
No one was injured in the 9:30 a.m. blast, which was being investigated by the New Jersey State Police, FBI, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department and Seaside Park Police Department, Porrino said.
The Attorney General said he and Col. Rick Fuentes, the State Police superintendent, briefed Gov. Christie.
“Working with the FBI and ATF, we are taking every step to ensure the safety of the public and to determine who was responsible for this explosion, which occurred at a time when runners in this charity race could have been in harm’s way,” Porrino said.
“We are grateful that nobody was injured, but this is a serious act of violence against the people of New Jersey," he said. "We will not rest until we find the person or persons responsible.”
The Semper Five 5K run had been scheduled to begin shortly after 9 a.m., but the start was delayed and no runners were near the trash can when the explosion occurred, the Attorney General said.
The race was cancelled after the blast. Ocean Avenue remained closed indefinitely, but all other area roads were open, Newsworks.org reported.
Authorities cordoned off the scene of the explosion at the corner of D Street and Ocean Avenue and were conducting a search of the surrounding area.
No additional explosions or secondary locations were identified, Porrino said.
"State Police bomb technicians have rendered safe items located in the same trash can in which the explosion occurred," he said.
Law enforcement partners "have been performing a wide search in the area and roads remain closed during the ongoing search and investigation," Porrino said Saturday afternoon.
He urged anyone with information related to the explosion to call the New Jersey State Police Homeland Security Tipline at 1-866-4SAFENJ.
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