By Jon Herskovitz
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A 17-year-old boy was killed and a woman injured in a package bomb explosion on Monday at a home in Austin, and police responded to reports of a second blast in the Texas state capital, authorities said.
Austin police said there was no clear motive for the explosion on Monday but they believed it was linked to a March 2 blast in the city that killed a man and both incidents were being investigated as homicides. The two homes that received the packages belonged to African-Americans, the police said.
"We cannot rule out that hate crime is at the core of this but we are not saying that that is the cause," Austin Police Chief Brian Manley told a news conference.
Austin police tweeted on Monday that they were responding to another reported explosion in the Montopolis area of the city.
In the Monday blast, the package was spotted in front of the house in the morning. It was taken into the kitchen, where it exploded, Manley said. The woman, in her 40s, was taken to an area hospital with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening.
Manley said the Monday blast had similarities to an explosion in a different Austin neighborhood that killed a man on March 2.
"We are looking at these incidents as being related," he said, adding that federal investigators have joined the case.
Austin police said after the March 2 explosion that they had no indication the fatal blast was related to terrorism.
In both cases, the packages apparently were delivered overnight and found in the morning, Manley said.