AUTHORITIES say a pipe bomb exploded in a Jersey Shore town shortly before thousands of runners were due to participate in a charity five-kilometre race to benefit Marines and sailors.
No injuries were reported in the blast in Seaside Park around 9:30am (11:30pm AEST) on Saturday.
The third annual Semper Five run was cancelled, and the immediate area was put on lockdown.
The pipe bomb was in a plastic garbage can when it exploded.
Very loud explosion at Semper 5K in Seaside Park at E Street. OMG #explosion #seasidepark pic.twitter.com/4K5V7gXpy8
— Kathy Madsen (@kathy_madsen) September 17, 2016
Authorities immediately cleared the boardwalk and beach area, and bomb-sniffing dogs were being used to search the area.
Officials said there was a report of at least one other explosive device that a state police bomb team would “make safe,” but further details were not disclosed.
5 Important Facts about the Explosion at Seaside Park, New Jersey https://t.co/kuWVfbTt6n pic.twitter.com/ZazZGeA2XO
— CitizenSlant (@CitizenSlant) September 17, 2016
Officials say runners had been scheduled to pass by the area around the time the blast occurred. But the start of the race had been delayed after an unattended backpack was found, and the area was mostly empty when the blast occurred.
Numerous state and federal law enforcement agencies are investigating.
It wasn’t clear when the boardwalk and beach will reopen.
The public was being urged to avoid the area.