Crime

No Pipe Bomb at Synagogue in Santa Monica

| by Kate Wharmby Seldman

It was initially thought that a blast outside a synagogue in Santa Monica, California, today was due to a pipe bomb, but now police are saying it could have been a pipe underneath a walkway, or a device used to break up concrete.

The explosion occurred at 6:45 a.m., just north of Chabad House of Santa Monica on 17th Street, authorities said. Police evacuated four blocks surrounding the temple, and investigators were treating the incident as a possible hate crime.

The exact location of the blast was on a walkway connecting Chabad House with a nearby apartment building. When it occurred, morning religious service was taking place inside Chabad House, and about 10 people were in attendance, but no one was injured.

Chabad House sustained moderate damage, as did the apartment building across the walkway. There was a hole in the roof of a house adjacent to the temple, apparently caused by falling debris.

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The FBI, Los Angeles Police Department bomb squad and Santa Monica Police Department all came to the crime scene.