Two security guards are in hospital after an explosion at a bank in northeast Edmonton early Thursday.

Police responded to the Scotiabank in the area 82 Street and 160 Avenue shortly at 2:10 a.m.

The two guards entered the lobby of the bank when an explosion occurred, police said.

EPS also confirmed there was a confrontation between the guards and the bank robber, who was armed.

The thief stole an undisclosed amount of money and fled on foot eastbound.

The man was wearing a disguise and is still on the loose.

The GardaWorld guards were taken to hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

“Our employees are now safe and in good hands,” GardaWorld said in a statement. “We are providing support to our employees, their families and colleagues at the branch. GardaWorld’s corporate security team is collaborating with the local authorities to the investigation.”

Teamsters, the union that represents GardaWorld, confirmed on Thursday afternoon that an improvised explosive device (IED) caused what President François Laporte called a “gutless, cowardly robbery.”

A 7-Eleven clerk nearby said he heard the blasts.

“I was sitting back in the room and there was two explosions,” Karan Singh told CTV News. “After that, one of my customers told me there was people screaming out there.”

This is the second explosion at an Edmonton bank in three months. On September 19, there was an explosion at the RBC in Chappelle Gardens.

It is unclear if the two explosions are connected.

Anyone with information about Thurday's explosion is asked to call EPS at 780-423-4567 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

With files from Nahreman Issa