Three injured as explosion rocks Urasoe home

Three people were injured Monday by an explosive hidden inside a plain paper bag in a residential district of Urasoe City after a man picked it up and took it into his house.

Police say the 56-year-old man, who found the bag outside his house around 6:45 a.m. as he was leaving for work, is hospitalized in stable condition along with his 27-year-old daughter and 31-year-old son, who were also injured by the explosion and suffered burns. Okinawa Prefectural Police are investigating the incident as a possible case of attempted murder, the Urasoe police station said.

“I heard a deep explosion,” a woman who lives nearby said. “It is terrifying to think it might have been an indiscriminate act (of terror).”  That explosion caused the three injuries to the head, leg and other parts. Police say they retained consciousness and their lives were not in danger. Police are investigating the case on suspicion of attempted murder and other charges, believing that someone employed an explosive material with the aim to inflict harm.

Police also say that they found a letter addressed to the daughter, but they did not disclose its contents or give any other specifics regarding the letter. The daughter had reportedly sough police advice before for some trouble. Based on that police are questioning a man said to be in his 20’s and who is acquainted to the daughter.

According to police and other sources, when the 56-year-old father was about to leave home for work, he noticed a paper bag left alongside the driver’s side door of his daughter’s minicar, which was parked in his garage. The father handed the paper bag to his daughter, who was in her room. Police say that when she set the bag down, it suddenly exploded.  The father was bleeding from his right thigh, his daughter had burn injuries on her face and throat, and his son had a laceration on his head, the police said. The father reportedly told investigators, “I gave the bag to my daughter, as I thought it was hers because it was beside her car.”

The explosion charred the room’s floor and made a hole about 20 centimeters by about 10 centimeters, while a part of the ceiling fell in and the window was broken.  The window in the son’s room was also broken, as the room was across a hall from the daughter’s room and its door was open. Police say the explosion caused no damage to neighboring houses.

Investigators also have discovered pieces of metal from the scene that investigators believe were part of the bomb and designed to  make it more lethal.

The family’s house is a one-story building made with reinforced concrete. When the explosion occurred, the man’s wife was also at home but sustained no injuries.  Suspecting that the daughter could have been the prime target, the police are questioning family members. They are also trying to identify the explosive material by recovering broken pieces scattered at the scene.  The explosion occurred about 600 meters west of the Urasoe municipal government office in a residential area. There are middle and high schools near the house.