An explosion in New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood injured 29 people last night, just before another suspicious device was found near the Manhattan scene. The blast happened between 23rd street and 6th Avenue in the heart of Chelsea, and is believed to have been caused by an explosive device in or near a dumpster.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that there are indications the explosion “was an intentional act, but there’s no specific and credible threat against New York City at this time from any terror organisation.”
A few blocks away from the explosion, the second suspicious device was discovered at 27th street, according to federal law officials. It was a pressure cooker with dark wire sticking out of it, connected to a mobile phone with duct tape. Officials also found a piece of paper with writing on it.
The cooker has been safely removed from the scene, but officials haven’t yet said what was inside it. Pressure cookers were also used as bombs in the Boston Marathon bombing back in 2013, which killed three people and injured 260.
Another explosion detonated in a bin on the route of the Marine Corps charity run earlier in New Jersey, but De Blasio says there is no specific connection as of yet.
David Martinez was caught in the explosion while driving through Chelsea with pregnant Brenda Abero, and their car was lifted by the blast and damaged. Luckily, Abero’s baby was uninjured.
Martinez, who suffered head and leg injuries, said, “I was driving a car and next thing you know I felt an explosion. I just blacked out, next thing I know I’m in an ambulance.”
Danilo Gabrielli was watching TV in his apartment when he heard the blast. “It was a huge explosion. It shook the entire apartment building,” he said. He and others went to see what had happened: “People from my building and I were literally the first people there.”
He went on, “We smelled something, like an intense sulfur smell, and saw smoke coming out of this building. I saw pieces of metal — not large, but not small either. A few friends of mine saw glass there.”
Nobody was killed, and several injured victims have been discharged from the hospital.