Multiple people were injured Saturday evening in an explosion that rocked lower Manhattan.
“The explosion happened at 135 23rd St. between Sixth and Seventh avenues” inside of a garbage can in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea around 8:30pm, reports PIX11.com.
The New York City Fire Department confirmed 29 people were injured in the blast, with only one of the injuries appearing to be serious.
— Lee Saks (@Lee_Saks) September 18, 2016
The NYPD Counterterrorism Unit responded after an explosion blew out the windows of nearby buildings and sent people fleeing.
— Tim Williams (@realtimwilliams) September 18, 2016
— NYPDCounterterrorism (@NYPDCT) September 18, 2016
“Preliminary reports point to the explosion happening inside of a dumpster,” according to NY1.com.
Manhattan: Box 615, West 23 St & 6th Ave. IED Explosion in dumpster U/D; 26 injured. All injures appears to be minor per FDNY EMS.
— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) September 18, 2016
Police also located a “pressure cooker with wires” and a timer, according to an ABC News reporter:
Sources: Authorities believe they may have found a pressure cooker device with wires and timer on 27th St in NYC. W/ @AaronKatersky
— Mike Levine (@MLevineReports) September 18, 2016
NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio stated the act was intentional, however claimed there was no evidence of a terror connection.
#BREAKING mayor: injuries are significant but not life threatening, no evidence of terror connection.
— Josh Einiger (@JoshEiniger7) September 18, 2016
“This was an intentional act,” de Blasio said at a press conference Saturday. “New Yorkers will not be intimidated. We will not let anyone change who we are or how we go about our lives.”
While the Mayor somehow claims the explosion did not represent a terror threat, 18 U.S.C. § 2331 defines “domestic terror” as having three primary characteristics:
Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.
— Ben Von Klemperer (@VKtrue) September 18, 2016
Presidential candidate Donald Trump stirred controversy when he stated that a “bomb” had gone off in New York during a campaign stop in Colorado before police confirmed the explosion’s source:
Video: Trump speculating on what is happening in New York tonight pic.twitter.com/yPvMsGbfYq
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) September 18, 2016
The press asked his opponent Hillary Clinton if he should not have been so quick to call the “bombing” – as referred to by Clinton herself – a “bomb.”
HRC refers to “bombings in New York,” then is asked if Trump jumped the gun when he immediately called it a “bomb” pic.twitter.com/MBaMvRMJUr
— Brett LoGiurato (@BrettLoGiurato) September 18, 2016
The Obama administration also issued a statement saying it was aware of the situation:
“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.”
The explosion follows the detonation of a pipe bomb that prevented a 5k marathon for veterans in Seaside Park, New Jersey.
More on this as it develops…