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 the 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.
First responders started getting inundated with calls about the mysterious boom around 2pm local time.
The noise puzzled El Paso police and fire rescue, with neither agency immediately able to say at the time what caused it.
“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,” the police department said in a Tweet.
The large boom echoed through El Paso, the Lower Valley, Socorro, Horizon City, and other points of East El Paso County, according to local news station KTSM.