In what authorities believe to be a deliberate attack against New Yorkers, a large explosion tore through a crowded street in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea on Saturday night, leaving 29 injured and putting New York on high alert.
The blast was caused by a homemade bomb placed in a sidewalk dumpster on West 23rd Street, said the authorities. A second explosive device was discovered four blocks away and removed.
— Slate (@Slate) September 18, 2016
– IED detonated inside dumpster
– at least 26 injured (minor)
– bomb squad searching area pic.twitter.com/uSEuDIAjqN
— Joel Franco (@OfficialJoelF) September 18, 2016
The second device was made up of a pressure cooker with wires attached to a cell phone. It is similar in makeup to the bombs used in the deadly Boston Marathon explosion of 2013, in which three were killed and 264 injured, many seriously. Those attacks were carried out by two Chechen brothers acting in the name of radical Islam.
— CNN (@CNN) September 18, 2016
Though New York mayor Bill de Blasio called the explosion an “intentional act”, he also said that there was “no evidence” of any link to terror and did not refer to a bomb.
He said investigations were ongoing and it was too early to determine the motivations behind the “incident.”
But the nature of the attack left investigators baffled.
“We don’t understand the target or the significance of it,” said an official speaking on condition of anonymity, the New York Times reported. “It’s by a pile of Dumpsters on a random sidewalk.”
The explosion occurred around 8:30pm in the affluent Chelsea neighborhood. Hundreds ran in panic from the scene, and nearly 30 people were injured, most lightly, by shrapnel from the explosion.
Injures were “significant, but none of the injured are likely to die,” said New York police commissioner James O’Neill.
Police say they have no current suspects and are not questioning anyone in connection to the bombs.
The bombing came the same day as another garbage can explosion in neighboring New Jersey. The three pipe bombs were placed along the route of a Marine Corps charity run in Seaside Park. Authorities believe they were timed to go off as the athletes passed the garbage can.
However, a hiccup in the registration process led to a late start to the race, and no one was near the site of the explosion when the bomb went off.