Mayor: NYC explosion “was an intentional act,” 29 injured
NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says early indications are that the explosion “was an intentional act.”
But de Blasio says “there is no evidence at this point of a terror connection” and there is no “credible and specific threat” to New York City, according to CNN.
The mayor says they also believe here is no specific connection to the earlier incident in New Jersey.
De Blasio says he can confirm “none of those injured are likely to die.”
NYPD Commisoner James O’Neill says there have been 29 injured as a result of the explosion.
The “exact nature and cause of this explosion has not yet been determined,” O’Neill says.
The NYPD Special Operations Division says a possible secondary device has been located.
The Fire Department says the blast was reported shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday on West 23rd Street in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. The explosion happened in a garbage can, according to our Tribune affiliate PIX 11.
Gas has been ruled out as the cause of the explosion, a law enforcement source told CNN. Officials are still trying to assess what caused explosion, the source said.
A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that an explosion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood appears to have come from a construction toolbox in front of a building.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn’t authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation.
The blast happened in front of a residence for the blind. Witnesses say the explosion at about 8:30 p.m. blew out the windows of businesses in the area.
City Councilman Corey Johnson, who represents the area, told cable news station New York 1 that FBI and federal Homeland Security officials were on the scene, in addition to New York City police.
Witnesses say FBI and Homeland Security are involved in the investigation.
The White House has issued a statement regarding the explosion.
“The president has been apprised of the explosion in New York City, the cause of which remains under investigation. The president will be updated as additional information becomes available.”
People in the area told PIX11 they could feel the vibrations from the outdoor explosion.
“I was eating dinner and felt the vibrations of the blast,” said Yemi Osibogun, a Bronx resident who was seated at a nearby sushi restaurant. “My plate actually shook.”
The reports of a possible blast comes hours after a pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey, shortly before thousands of runners participated in a charity 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors.