UPDATE 5:25 pm CDT: Good News! The explosion is now believed to be a “freak industrial accident.” Authorities say now that they are”absolutely positive” it was not a terrorist act or a hate crime.”
He said a 300-pound metal pipe encased in concrete was in a plastic bin with construction debris. The bin was located in a walkway between the Chabad House and a guest house behind the synagogue’s neighboring home.
Some type of chemical reaction propelled the pipe into the air and through the roof of the guest house, about 25 feet away. Mitchell said the cause of the reaction is under investigation, but officials made clear that they do not believe it was an intentional act.
The pipe remained stuck in the roof for several hours until firefighters removed it, revealing a gaping hole.
The side of the temple suffered some minor damage where the object apparently ricocheted. Source LATimesBlogs
The following are updates and reporting on this story before the above revelation.
UPDATE: Trace Gallegher is just reporting that the pipe bomb exploded “INSIDE THE TEMPLE. see more of this update below.”Fox News is reporting a pipe bomb exploded just north of Santa Monica’s Chabad House about 15 minutes before services this morning. Initial reports says the explosion was in the parking lot of the synagogue, although that has not been confirmed by police. The explosion happened at 6:45 am, with services scheduled at 7 am. The Chabad House of Santa Monica in located in the 1400 block of 17th Street and Broadway. At this time, no injuries are reported. Fox’s Trace Gallagher said he understands the explosion was large. There are reports of worshippers being evacuated from the area, and perhaps residents in the surrounding area as well. Authorities are trying to determine if the synagogue was directly targeted. Details may change as more information becomes available.
UPDATE 12:35 pm CDT: Casey Stiegel is just reporting that 20 persons were inside the synagogue, about to begin services when they heard the explosion. The Rabbi said the explosion was not very loud, so that seems to correct a report that it was a large explosion. A total of 100 people in the general area were evacuated and are now in a shelter.
Stiegel also says a 4-block perimeter has been set up and the synagogue is being searched for other explosives. Police believe the explosive device is a pipe bomb but cannot definitely confirm it at this time.
UPDATE 12:25 pm CDT: The bomb actually exploded from inside the Temple. On Fox right now, they saying that an explosion on the second floor of the synagogue blew out windows and something shot out from the synagogue, and onto the roof of a home adjacent to the temple. There is video of a hole in roof of the home, with something looking like a rocket or something similiar projecting from the hole. One hundred people were evacuated. Megyn Kelly is just reporting that 72% of religious hate crimes in the U.S. are against our Jewish brothers and sisters.