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 has been found at West 27th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenue, according NYPD Special Operations. The area should be avoided, the NYPD said.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill, in his first full day on the job, 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 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 descriebed the the FDNY as a puncture wound. “It was loud. It was very loud,” said Crown Heights resident Fredricke M. Farrell. “I was on 21st Street and the blast sounded like it was right next door.”
The explosion happened in front of Selis Manor, an apartment building that assists the blind community.
The NYPD Counterterrorism Unit asked New Yorkers to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings.
A news conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill will hold a news conference at around 11 p.m.
— NYPDCounterterrorism (@NYPDCT) September 18, 2016
BREAKING NEWS: REPORTS OF A SECOND IED LOCATED IN MANHATTAN. EVACUATIONS ORDERED. pic.twitter.com/BYLlTLMUUO
— Breaking News Feed (@pzf) September 18, 2016
The White House has issued a statement regarding the explosion.
“The president has been apprised of the explosion in New York City, the cause of which remains under investigation. The president will be updated as additional information becomes available.”
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Acting Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter announced Saturday night that the Nassau County Police Department is on heightened alert following the explosions in New York and, earlier, in Seaside Park, N.J.
“Although there is no known imminent threats to Nassau County, police are monitoring these attacks along with federal, state and local authorities,” a statement from Nassau County officials read. “Nassau County Police are intensifying patrols in all areas of mass transit, critical infrastructure, and will increase patrols at significant public events.”
The Chelsea explosion comes hours after the pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Park, near the Semper Fi 5K Charity Run route. The pipe bomb was also placed in a garbage can.
— Avidor.Law (@JonAvidor) September 18, 2016
REPORTS OF LARGE EXPLOSION: CHELSEA, NY | 25 reported injured. pic.twitter.com/CcVs05X29U
— aHEMagain ❌ (@aHEM_again) September 18, 2016