Explosion rocks the Big Apple
A DELIBERATE explosion rocked one of the most fashionable neighbourhoods of New York, injuring 29 people a week after America’s financial capital marked the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The blast occurred in Chelsea at around 8:30pm on September 17, at a typically bustling time of the weekend in an area packed with bars, restaurants and luxury apartments.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said there was no known link to terror at this stage, albeit as police investigated 27th Street for a reported secondary device, scrambling to reassure the city’s 8.4 million residents.
The explosion comes two days before world leaders led by President Barack Obama gather in New York for the UN General Assembly, a time when Manhattan grinds to a standstill under tight security measures.
AFP reporters saw a massive police presence at the crime scene, where they were joined by FBI and counterterrorism squads, as police helicopters circled overhead and sirens wailed.
Of the 29 people who sustained injuries, 24 were taken to hospital with various degrees of scrapes and abrasions from glass and metal, said Fire Department commissioner Daniel Nigro.
Witnesses living three blocks away told AFP they heard a large boom from their fifth-floor apartment, followed by quiet, then the sound of sirens.
A photograph shared by New York’s local NY1 television station showed shattered glass in a doorway, apparently caused by the blast. CNN and ABC television said an apparent pressure cooker device was also found at 27th Street.
Public officials were tight-lipped on the cause of the blast, saying it was still under investigation but confirmed that it was a planned blast and not a gas leak.
Republican nominee Donald Trump jumped the gun on the news reports by saying that “a bomb went off in New York”.
“We better get very tough, folks, we better get very, very tough,” the New York billionaire said.
His Democratic rival Hillary ClinISRAEL’S
ton immediately took swipe at her opponent saying “it’s always wiser to wait until you have information before making conclusions”.
Mr de Blasio said investigators believe there was “no specific connection” to a pipe bomb explosion hours earlier in a trash can in New Jersey.
The New Jersey blast occurred during a Marine Corps charity run. It caused no injuries but forced officials to cancel the event.
There were up to four timed explosives but only one detonated, Al Della Fave, a spokesperson for the Ocean County prosecutor, told CNN.
The mayor said the city’s anti-terror units and national security agencies were on full alert. –
A fire truck is parked near the site of an York’s upscale and bustling Chelsea neig
explosion on West 23rd Street in New York on September 17. The blast in New hborhood injured at least 29 people, the fire department said.