Multiple injuries reported in possible New York City terror bombing (UPDATED)
Multiple people were injured in what may be a terrorist bombing in New York City’s Chelsea district.
According to Pix11.com, “The explosion happened at 135 23rd St. between Sixth and Seventh avenues” between 8:30 and 8:50 p.m. on Saturday.
The Fire Department of New York and New York City Police Department Counterterrorism Unit said there are at least 14 people with minor injuries. Traffic is currently being diverted away from the area.
More on this story as it develops.
UPDATE (9:46 p.m. EDT): Live radio coverage is available here. The bomb was reportedly planted in a dumpster. The majority of injuries are believed to be shrapnel wounds. Authorities are questioning whether the bomb is related to a bomb placed in a trash can at a New Jersey road race to benefit veterans earlier Saturday.
The National Guard is reportedly on the scene in Manhattan.
UPDATE (9:53 p.m. EDT): The number of injured has been raised to 26. One person was seriously hurt.
UPDATE (9:56 p.m. EDT): Residents are tweeting video from the scene.
— Aiden Leslie (@aidenleslie) September 18, 2016
— Brian R (@trainsflyby) September 18, 2016
UPDATE (10:10 p.m.): The explosion took place outside a home for the blind. The explosive device was definitely planted in a dumpster. Mayor Bill deBlasio has arrived on the scene.
UPDATE (10:18 p.m.): The NYPD Counterterrorism Unit posted a photo of the mangled dumpster.
— NYPDCounterterrorism (@NYPDCT) September 18, 2016
UPDATE (10:22 p.m.): The New York Daily News reported that all ground floor windows at the Associated Blind Housing living facility were blown out in the blast.
“Everybody started running and screaming,” said area resident Ryan McMillen to the Daily News. “It felt like a pipe bomb. It wasn’t huge. It was some sort of a bomb. It wasn’t a car backfiring.”
“We all heard a big explosion,” said 40-year-old Olive McFarland — who was working on a display in the front window of nearby Burlington Coat Factory. “A lot of people were coming into the store. They didn’t know what happened so they kept rushing in. They were panicking.”
No fatalities have been reported. The number of injured remains at 26. One person suffered “moderate” injuries, according to officials.
A press conference by law enforcement officials is expected shortly.
UPDATE (10:29 p.m.): This video is reportedly from right after the blast. WARNING: Some viewers may find this content upsetting.
— Avidor.Law (@JonAvidor) September 18, 2016
UPDATE (11:06 p.m.): Authorities are saying they’re still unsure whether the explosion was caused by a bomb or an accident. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to address the public soon along with freshly sworn-in Police Commissioner James O’Neill whose first full day on the job was today. O’Neill succeeded Commissioner Bill Bratton.
UPDATE (11:14 p.m.): NYPD Special Ops tweeted that a possible second device may have been found.
— NYPD Special Ops (@NYPDSpecialops) September 18, 2016
UPDATE (11:21 p.m.): In a press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that there is “no specific and credible threat against New York City at this time by any terrorist organization.” Law enforcement say that the explosion appears to be an intentional act, but are not currently characterizing it as a terrorist attack.
“It’s too early to give you any details of the investigation because it’s only just begun over the last two hours,” said de Blasio. He urged anyone with information about the crime to call 1-800-577-TIPS.
“A second site,” he said, is being investigated by the police.
Commissioner James O’Neill said that an extensive search of the area around 27th Street is being investigated by police. “The exact nature and cause of this explosion has not yet been determined,” said O’Neill.
He said that the fire department is attempting to make certain that surrounding structures in the explosion area are still safe.
The number if injured persons has been raised to 29. About 24 of those people have been treated and released.
An investigation is currently underway. Again, the NYPD says that it has not received any “credible or specific threat” from terror organizations and that it is “too early to say” whether the explosion is the result of terrorism.
UPDATE (11:34 p.m.): This video purports to show the explosion as it happened via security cameras across the street.
Video shows moment of IED Explosion at W 23 St & 6th Ave in Manhattan pic.twitter.com/O270bZWOzF
— New York City Alerts (@NYCityAlerts) September 18, 2016
UPDATE (11:38 p.m.): Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told reporters on her campaign jet that she intends to find out more about the explosion in Chelsea before making an official statement.
“I’ll have more to say about it when we actually know the facts,” she said, in what could be interpreted as a jab at Republican nominee Donald Trump, who hurriedly sounded off about the blast during a campaign appearance in Colorado and plugging it as a reason to vote for him.
Hillary Clinton, on her campaign plane, responds to explosion in NYC pic.twitter.com/4tfyUE2vNc
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) September 18, 2016
Watch live TV coverage from CBS New York: