Explosion Kills Police Officer, Injures Nurse at AL Women's Clinic
An explosion killed an off-duty police officer and critically injured a clinic nurse at Birmingham's New Woman, All Women Health Care Clinic around 7:30 a.m. Central time this morning.
The police officer and nurse were transported to the University of Alabama hospital, where the nurse is receiving treatment for her injuries. Authorities evacuated a four-block area surrounding the clinic, including two nearby University of Alabama-Birmingham dorms, and are searching for additional explosive devices within a one-mile radius of the clinic.
Authorities will not enter the building until a bomb squad finishes its work, for fear that a second explosion might occur. Just over a year ago, a family planning clinic in Atlanta was hit by two bombs, and all six of the resulting injuries were caused by the second blast.
The blast blew out the windows of the clinic and of an office building located across the street, ripped an awning over the clinic's door, and scattered thick, grey smoke and black debris into the street.
Occupants of nearby buildings attested to the severity of the blast. UAB student Lindsey Thompson said "It felt like lightening had hit the building." Michele Wilson, a volunteer at the Summit Medical Care Clinic, an abortion clinic located one block away from the explosion, said the impact knocked things off the walls there.
Officials from the Atlanta Bomb Task Force, the FBI, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are on the scene and investigating. There are currently no suspects, but officials are interviewing many witnesses.
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