Section of Kansas City Evacuated After Suspicious Explosion

Police and fire officials evacuated a section of downtown Kansas City, Mo., Thursday after a man set off an explosive device in the area, The Kansas City Star reported.

An object described by the Star as a "commercial firework" exploded in an alleyway at approximately 1:30 p.m. local time.

No people were injured, but a nearby building sustained light damage.

Witnesses told the Star that an unidentified man borrowed a cigarette from someone nearby just before the device exploded.

Witnesses also reported that the man had been seen putting an object in a metal clothing donation box outside a gas station nearby.

Authorities closed Grand Boulevard between 16th and 18th streets for approximately three hours as they searched the surrounding area.

Eventually around 4:30pm local time, a police robot was used to detonate the suspicious device located inside the box.

"Witnesses stated they observed a man put an unknown item in the metal yellow clothing donation box in the parking lot of the Valero station. The man walked away, and shortly after, a large explosion was heard," Kansas City police said in a news release.

The location or identity of the man remained unknown. He was last seen walking away from the scene in a northerly direction.