An explosion occurred at a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, after a suspicious backpack was found. The detonation was not controlled, the city’s mayor said. Meanwhile, the FBI has questioned five people in connection with Saturday’s Manhattan blast.

Elizabeth’s mayor, Christian Bollwage, said the blast occurred when authorities were trying to “disarm” the backpack, and that the explosion was not controlled.

“This was an explosive device” containing as many as five devices, Bollwage said. “Based on the loudness, I think people could have been severely hurt or injured if they had been in the vicinity.”

A law enforcement official confirmed the bag contained pipe bombs, The New York Times reported.

Journalist Andy Mai from the New York Daily News reported that there will be no more detonations, and the remaining four devices will be taken to Middlesex Fire Academy and picked up by the FBI.

The bag was discovered in the area of North Broad and Westfield Avenue, CBS local reported, adding that local businesses have been ordered to evacuate.

Bollwage told reporters that at around 9:30pm on Sunday two men “noticed a package in the waste basket.” The men then took the package from the bin, thinking “it was of value to them” before they saw “wires and a pipe.” They then proceeded to “drop the package” and notified the local police headquarters.

“We do not believe those two are involved,” Bollwage told NBC New York. “We believe they did the right thing.”

Police then called a bomb squad who sent a drone to examine the package further. Bomb technicians also deployed a robot to the scene.

Authorities at the scene are conducting a “secondary search” of waste bins for other possible threats, Bollwage added.

All Amtrak and local trains bound for New Jersey were halted during the investigation.

Authorities are now “rendering the area safe,” the FBI’s New York bureau tweeted.

The device found in Elizabeth appears similar to a device that exploded Saturday morning in Seaside Park, NJ, according to senior law enforcement officials cited by NBC.

Meanwhile, sources told the New York Post that five men were reportedly taken in for questioning by the FBI after agents pulled over their car in Brooklyn. Those detained were reportedly heading over the Verrazano Bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn. NYPD officers assisted federal agents at the scene, NBC reported.

Although the FBI clarified that it conducted a traffic stop, it said that no arrests were made or charges brought about in connection with the explosion that rocked New York on Saturday, stating that earlier media reports were inaccurate.

“We conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle of interest in New York City but no arrests were made and no one has been charged with any crime,” FBI spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser told Reuters.

The surrounding area of New York City remains on high alert after two bombs went off, firstly in New Jersey and later in Manhattan, on Saturday. Earlier on Sunday, NY governor Andrew Cuomo announced the deployment of close to 1,000 state police officers and National Guard servicemen to monitor bus terminals, airports, and subway stations.


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