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FBI, Woodfin Police investigate explosion that might be linked to a mystery

Shattered glass in track hoe. Photo credit WLOS

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. -- The FBI and local authorities are investigating an explosion at a Woodfin construction site that could be a link to a mystery.

"I've never seen anything like it," Rick McElrath said, who's developing the Rolling Hills Of French Broad. "It's kind of worrisome that people have the capability of doing something like this."

The shattered glass and bent metal on a track hoe at the site is just the beginning.

"If you look at the floor, it blew up the steel plate, twisted up the steel," he described.

You can also see bullet holes in the unit. Police think it happened between late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.

That's roughly the same time residents around North Buncombe County reported a mysterious boom.

"I run into some people I knew and I told them about this," McElrath said. "And they said that was the boom at 12:30, 'We heard it, it woke us up,' and they live a mile and a half from here."

Mcelrath says experts told him the explosives were in a mason jar and ignited with gunfire.

"The bomb squad was out here yesterday," he said. "You have to go 200 yards away with a high powered rifle, that's the only way you could ignite it."

Lt. Mike Dykes of Woodfin Police Department had no comment about the specifics of what blew up.

"We're unsure what type of means, what type of substance," he said. "But there was obviously some sort of explosion which caused the glass to blow out."

While some think this solves one mystery, it also unravels a new whole set of questions about what happened to the blasted rental unit.

"I hope they're gonna bring me another one," McElrath said. "I don't blame them if they don't want to."

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