IED Explodes In New York City; 29 People Injured: Bomb Was "An Intentional Act" Mayor Says
Summary of the latest news surrounding the explosion of an IED in midtown Manhattan on Saturday night:
A powerful explosion caused by what authorities say was a homemade bomb set off in a sidewalk dumpster on 23rd Street (between 6h and 7th Ave.) at 8:30pm on Saturday night, injured at least 29 people; a second explosive device was also found four blocks away. The explosion, which occurred around 8:30 p.m., prompted the shutdown of a wide swath of Manhattan south of Midtown. The Police Department said at 1:15 a.m. Sunday that 14th Street to 32nd Street was closed to traffic between Fifth and Eighth Avenues until further notice.
The explosion shattered windows, damaged cars and sent crowds running from the scene. “I heard a big boom,” said Luke McConnell, who was visiting from Colorado and had been headed toward a restaurant on West 27th Street. “I felt it, like a concussive wave, heading towards me.” “Then there was a cloud of white smoke that came from the left side of 23rd Street near Sixth,” he said. “There was no fire, just smoke.”
A law enforcement official said investigators were trying to figure out who was behind the explosion and what the motivations might have been. “It likely came from an improvised device,” said one city official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a continuing investigation. “We don’t understand the target or the significance of it. It’s by a pile of Dumpsters on a random sidewalk.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking at a news conference at the scene, said “injuries are significant" but for the moment none were life-threatening. The mayor called the explosion “an intentional act” but initially said there was no connection to terrorism. He cautioned that the authorities had just begun their investigation into the blast, which took place just days after the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. “Whatever the cause,” Mr. de Blasio said, “New Yorkers will not be intimidated.”
Many of the injuries were caused by shrapnel from the explosion, which witnesses said seemed to have come from a sidewalk dumpster on West 23rd Street, whose images quickly proliferated on Twitter.