29 People Injured After Homemade Bomb Explodes in Popular Nightlife District in New York City
This is a developing story
Multiple people have reportedly been injured after an explosion took place in New York City on Saturday night.
The explosion happened on 23rd street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan – a popular nightlife area that is usually bustling on Saturday night. A federal official tells PEOPLE that it is confirmed that the explosion was caused by “a device” – a homemade bomb. The NYPD later said in a press release that it appeared to be an improvised explosive device, or an IED.
The FDNY confirmed that 25 people were injured and that none appeared to be life-threatening. Later that number rose to 29. There were no fatalities and the injuries appear to be not life-threatening.
According to The New York Times, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio described the explosion as “intentional” but said there was no connection to terrorism and no one had immediately claimed responsibility.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also said on Sunday that there was no evidence that the explosion was part of “international” terrorism, according to the Times. However, he added that they are still in the early stages of the investigation.
The newspaper also reported that authorities found a second device nearby in what appeared to be a homemade bomb in a pressure cooker. It is unclear if the Chelsea blast was caused by a similar device. A federal official confirmed to PEOPLE that a second device was found but that it was still being studied.
“There are cameras all over New York. We’ll find who did this,” the official said.
“The suspicious device on W27St was safely removed earlier this morning by NYPD Bomb Squad to a secure police facility,” the NYPD said in a statement on Sunday.
“There is currently a complex investigation ongoing involving numerous NYPD units and partner agencies including FBI, ATF, JTTF and NYS Police.”
On Saturday night, the White House announced that President Barack Obama had been briefed on the explosion.
“The president has been apprised of the explosion in New York City, the cause of which remains under investigation,” a White House official said. “The president will be updated as additional information becomes available.”
Surveillance video from a nearby gym obtained by NBC News showed the explosion shattering glass.
The news first broke on Twitter, where observers shared photos and confusion about the explosion.
One witness shared a photo of a dumpster where the blast seemingly came from. Authorities have not confirmed where exactly the blast occurred.
The New York Post claimed that the explosion blew out the windows of a nearby building.
Shortly after the explosion, the MTA announced that they had suspended subway service for the 1 and 2 trains between downtown Manhattan and 34th street due to the incident.
The explosion comes just hours after a “pipe-bomb type device” exploded ahead of a charity race in Seaside Park, New Jersey, on Saturday morning. Seaside Park is roughly 84 miles south of Manhattan. No injuries were reported during the Seaside Park incident although the charity run – which was organized to benefit Marines – had to be canceled.