CHELSEA, Manhattan — Twenty-nine people were injured in an “intentional” explosion in the heart of Chelsea Saturday night, jolting a bustling neighborhood teeming with restaurants, bars and pedestrians and alarming the city on what had been a calm weekend evening.
“This was an intentional act,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Saturday night. He said there is no known link to terrorism or the explosion that happened in Seaside Park, N.J. earlier Saturday. “New Yorkers will not be intimidated. We will not let anyone change who we are or how we go about our lives.”
A possible secondary device — which a source described to PIX11 News as a “possible pressure cooker” — has been found at West 27th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, according NYPD Special Operations. The area should be avoided, the NYPD said.
Members of the FDNY investigating the device at 27th Street told PIX11 “it has a cell phone attached, that’s why they’re going up there.”
The FDNY is assessing potential structure damage resulting from the explosion and Con Ed is testing for radioactivity at the 23rd Street scene.
Residents who live in the area told PIX11 they were not allowed back into their homes.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill, in his first full day on the job after the resignation of Bill Bratton, said the NYPD has a video of the explosion and is collecting more video, but would not discuss additional details of the investigation, such as what may have exploded or whether it was in a garbage can, as earlier reports indicated.
The blast happened around 8:30 p.m. in front of 135 W. 23rd St. between Sixth and Seventh avenues. The FDNY says none of the 24 of of the 29 injured who were hospitalized sustained serious injuries, with scrapes and other injuries. The worst was described the the FDNY as a puncture wound. “It was loud. It was very loud,” said Crown Heights resident Fredrick M. Farrell. “I was on 21st Street and the blast sounded like it was right next door.”
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