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Cops: Package bomb targets Philadelphia apartment

Police say a package bomb exploded in a Philadelphia apartment early Tuesday after a man opened it

By KRISTEN DE GROOT Associated Press Published: November 23, 2016 4:00 AM

PHILADELPHIA -- A bomb stuffed inside a padded envelope exploded in an apartment Tuesday when a man opened the package, apparently thinking it contained medicine, police said. The victim, 60, was hospitalized with hand and chest injuries.

Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan said the envelope contained shrapnel.

The package was "target specific," Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

The device is being analyzed an ATF laboratory.

The victim was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and was in stable condition after surgery.

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The man opened the package near the stove in the kitchen of the apartment he shares with a roommate, leading police to initially believe the blast may have been an accidental explosion caused by an inhaler getting too close to heat.

Investigators are running down a number of leads but have no motive yet, Rabadi said.

"We are going to look at every possible motive that comes across our radar," he said.

Aly King and Brian Muldoon live two doors down from the townhouse where the blast happened and said they didn't hear any explosion, but their dog woke up around 3:45 a.m.

King said she let her puppy out in the backyard and that is when she heard firefighters in the alley, shuffling garbage cans, and saw emergency vehicles filling the street. They said they had never met the victim.

"It's kind of a peculiar time of day to open a package, at 4 a.m.," Muldoon said.

Ten residents were evacuated from nearby apartments, but were allowed to return after the bomb squad cleared other packages.

The victim's roommate told police that the man often receives medical inhalers in the mail. He was home at the time of the blast but was uninjured.

Associated Press writer Shawn Marsh contributed from Trenton, New Jersey.


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