At least 29 people were treated for injuries following a powerful explosion in Chelsea Manhattan on Saturday night.
— FDNY (@FDNY) September 18, 2016
They say that an improvised explosive device stuffed inside a dumpster was the most likely cause of the blast which occurred at around 8.30pm local time.
The blast came after a pipe bomb explosion in neighbouring New Jersey on Saturday morning along the route of a planned charity race.
The bomb, which only partially detonated, caused no injuries. Authorities are yet to make any connection between the two explosions.
New York mayor, Bill de Blasio called the incident an “intentional act” but insisted that there was no credible terrorist threat to the city and said there was no link with the New Jersey explosion.
The BBC reports:
The force of the blast blew out windows and could be heard several blocks away.
Another device, reportedly a pressure cooker rigged with wires, was later found in the same district.
New York’s fire department said that of those injured, 24 were taken to hospital.
One received a puncture wound described as serious, while the rest suffered scrapes and bruises.
The explosion occurred around 21:00 (01:00 GMT on Sunday), outside a residence for blind people on West 23rd St.
Witnesses said people ran in all directions following the “incredibly loud” blast.
— Danilo Gabrielli (@DaniloGabrielli) September 18, 2016
Some reports said the blast went off in a black metal construction toolbox, others that it was in a rubbish bin. Several blocks were shut by police but by 07:00 only 23rd St was closed, the New York Times reported.
A police official told the Times: “We don’t understand the target or the significance of it. It’s by a pile of dumpsters on a random sidewalk.”
Mr de Blasio said: “The initial indication is this was an intentional act.”
But he added: “We also want to be upfront saying that there is no evidence at this point of a terror connection to this incident.”
The second device has been described as a pressure cooker attached to wiring and a mobile phone – and this mode of attack was last seen in the US during the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013.