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Construction site explosion in Juarez caused loud boom heard, felt in east El Paso & Lower Valley

UPDATE: CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- A blast widely heard and felt across portions of El Paso's eastside and Lower Valley on Thursday afternoon was apparently caused by an explosion at a construction and excavation site in neighboring Mexico.

The Juarez news outlet El Diario reported the blast took place on a hill along Camino Real where a mining crew was working with explosives to extract material.

El Diario quoted Mexican civil protection officials as saying about 20 nearby homes were damaged, but there was no word of any serious injuries or deaths.

"We thought it was a rocket," said one woman whose home was among those damaged.

The explosion caused pavement to buckle and left cracks in the walls of homes in the Los Ojitos subdivision around 2 p.m.; that neighborhood is located directly across the border from the city of Socorro.

Juarez firefighters and civil protection officials were at the scene investigating the explosion.

ORIGINAL REPORT: EL PASO, Texas -- Residents on El Paso's eastside and Lower Valley reported hearing a loud boom Thursday afternoon that sounded like an explosion and shook homes as if it were an earthquake, but police and fire officials were at a loss to explain the cause of the blast that was widely felt.

ABC-7 viewer Rocio Soledad captured the sound of the boom on a ring doorbell camera, which you can see and hear in the video player below.

ABC-7 was inundated with phone calls from residents after 2 p.m. wondering what happened, as were local authorities.

"The El Paso Police Department has received reports of a loud boom or explosion. At this time there has not been confirmation of a location or reasoning for it and the El Paso Police Department is still looking into the situation," a police spokesman said around 3 p.m.

Meantime, the El Paso Fire Department issued a similar statement: "Within the last hour, multiple EPFD units have been dispatched to reports of a loud boom on Central and East El Paso. No incident, damages or fires connected to the sound have been found. No injuries have been reported. Crews continue to investigate."

Police and fire dispatchers said all area utility companies had been contacted - and none reported any issues. Officers were in the process of checking local refineries, but so far had not found anything out of the ordinary.

In addition, the U.S. Geological Survey said no earthquake activity had been detected in the Borderland.

Authorities were investigating and ABC-7 is working to gather more information about the cause of the boom.

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

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