As many as 29 people were injured after an explosion ripped through one of New York City’s trendiest neighborhoods on a busy Saturday night. The incident happened at 23rd street and 6th avenue in midtown Manhattan on September 17 at around 8:30 p.m. The explosion has been described as “outdoor” by the FDNY. One apparent witness, Camelia Entekhabifard, said that the blast was caused by a “bomb in a trash can.”
In a press conference in the aftermath, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said, “This was an intentional act.” The mayor added, “There is no specific and credible threat against New York City at this point in time from any terror organization.”
Anybody with any information about the explosion is asked to call 1800-577-TIPS.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Fire Department Says 29 People Were Injured – One Seriously
Pix 11’s Anthony DiLorenzo tweetedtweetedthat the patient count is 14 and that the injuries are “minor.” USA Today’s Marc Ambinder reported the number of injured as 26. The number was later expanded to 29 people with one person suffering serious injuries. The FDNY says that 24 of the 29 people were taken to area hospitals. Less than 24 hours later, all of the victims were released.
None of the victims were expected to die.
DiLorenzo added in a separate tweet that, “Chelsea on a late summer Saturday night is as crowded as it gets.” City Councilman Cory Johnson told CBS New York, “This is a very dense area, the whole block is restaurants and residences and this area on a warm Saturday night is an area swarming with people.”
ABC New York’s CeFaan Kim reports that one of the injured is an 8-year-old boy who was sitting in a car close to where the explosion took place.
No fatalities have been reported.
2. Fox News Is Reporting That a Possible Second Device Is a ‘Pressure Cooker’
The New York Daily News reported at one point that a “possible suspect” is being questioned by police after being picked up eight blocks from the explosion.
New York City Alerts Twitter account referred to the explosion as an “IED Explosion.” The NYPD’s bomb squad are on the scene. Mayor De Blasio said that there is no indication that natural gas was involved in the explosion.
The Associated Press reports that the explosion “appears” to have come from a “construction toolbox.” The New York City Alerts Twitter page said that a second device was found at 135 West 27th street at around 10:30 p.m., two hours after the original explosion. That find was also reported by ABC New York’s Sandra Bookman who was quoting New York Police Department Special Operations sources. Fox News reports that the second device is a pressure cooker. Those were the type of IEDs used in the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.
One witness, Ryan McMillen, told the New York Daily News, “It felt like a pipe bomb. It wasn’t huge. It was some sort of a bomb. It wasn’t a car backfiring. I got my family in a cab and high-tailed out of there.”
3. Donald Trump Announced to a Crowd in Colorado That a ‘Bomb’ Went Off in New York
Sopan Deb of CBS News reports that at a rally in Colorado, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump told a crowd that “a bomb went off in New York.” CNN producer Noah Gray tweeted that Trump was briefed about the explosion prior to the meeting.
The candidate said:
I must tell you that just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what’s going on. But boy, we are living in a time — we better get very tough, folks. We better get very, very tough.
(in audible) It’s a terrible thing that’s going on in our world, in our country and we are going to get tough and smart and vigilant.
4. The Windows of an Assisted Living Facility for the Blind Were Blown Out
Among the massive emergency services response, the NYPD’s counterterrorism squad are on the scene along with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. While the FDNY has called it a “10-60,” a major emergency response. The New York Times reports that the explosion blew out the windows of a five-story brownstone building in the area. That building is an assisted living facility for the blind.
The E and F trains are bypassing 23rd street in both directions.
Facebook has activated their Safety Check feature for the explosion.
The day of the explosion marks the first official day on the job for new NYPD commissioner James O’Neill.
5. This Comes After a Trash Can Bomb Exploded in New Jersey During a Marine Corps Charity Run
The 23rd street explosion came just hours after a trashcan bomb exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey, according to the Associated Press. Nobody was hurt during that incident which took place just prior to a charity 5k run for Marines and sailors. CNN reports that there was no damage to the area. The network adds that two bombs were found in the area but that only one detonated.
Mayor Bill De Blasio said that it’s too early to say if the Chelsea and Seaside Park explosions are related.