At least 29 people were injured in an explosion in the Chelsea area of Manhattan. The city has been placed at full alert.
A police officer at the scene confirmed to the Guardian that the first explosion was caused by a device placed in a trash can on 23rd Street. “Injuries are significant but none of the injured are likely to die,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Neha Jain, 24, who lives in the neighborhood, said she was sitting at home watching a movie when she heard a huge boom and everything shook. “Pictures on my wall fell, the window curtain came flying as if there was a big gush of wind. Then we could smell smoke. We went downstairs to see what happened, and firemen immediately told us to go back,” she told Reuters.
Further, another explosive device was discovered in the area during police sweeping.
Police said a sweep of the neighborhood following the blast had turned up a possible secondary device four blocks away consisting of a pressure cooker with wires attached to it and connected to a cell phone.
Authorities have described the blast as a ‘deliberate, criminal act’, while investigators have denied any evidence of a terror connection.
“There is no evidence at this point of a terror connection to this incident. This is preliminary. Early indications are that this was an intentional act,” De Blasio said. The explosion quickly became an issue in the presidential race. The presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told reporters she had been briefed about the bombings in New York and New Jersey and said: “We need to do everything we can to support our first responders, also to pray for the victims. We have to let this investigation unfold.”