SAPD sending bomb team to Austin in wake of latest explosion

2 bomb techs, dog arrived in Austin Monday morning

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Police Department is extending a helping hand to its counterpart in Austin by sending in two bomb technicians and a bomb dog.

The team left early Monday morning and arrived in the capital city a short time later.

The offer of assistance is in response to an explosion Sunday that left two people injured.

SAPD Chief William McManus said he had a telephone conversation with Austin's police chief, Brian Manley, and realized that the APD has been stretched thin.

"They are overwhelmed right now with calls from the public concerned about the explosions," McManus said.

He said while his team is highly trained in all areas concerning explosives, the biggest need in Austin at this time is for help fielding calls about suspicious packages.

"They'll take X-ray equipment with them, a bomb dog with them, other bomb-detecting equipment," McManus said. "And they'll work those kinds of calls because, as I said, right now, they're being overwhelmed."

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The explosion Sunday night was the latest in a series to rock Austin and the fourth this month.

Most of the bombings before Sunday involved victims who were injured or killed when the packages went off at homes.

Sunday's explosion happened in a public area on a trailhead and involved a trip wire, McManus said.

He would not discuss details of the case that Manley disclosed to him.

McManus said although there have been no devices found in San Antonio, residents in the Alamo City should stay vigilant.

"Now that we know that there was a trip wire, a bomb set up on a trailhead, anybody using a trailhead needs to be cautious," he said. "We want to continue our daily routines. We don't want to stop doing them, but we want to be cautious."

McManus said SAPD's help in Austin will not leave San Antonio unprotected in the event of a bomb investigation because the department has six bomb technicians. 

He said he's not sure how long the two technicians will be in Austin, but McManus will allow them to remain there for as long as they're needed.

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