World

NYC explosion that injured 29 called a bombing; FBI, police investigating motive

  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, second right, look over a mangled construction toolbox Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, while touring the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. Numerous people were injured in blast, and the motive, while reportedly not international terrorism, is still being investigated. (Justin Lane/EPA via AP, Pool)

    New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, right, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, second right, look over a mangled construction toolbox Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, while touring the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. Numerous people were injured in blast, and the motive, while reportedly not international terrorism, is still being investigated. (Justin Lane/EPA via AP, Pool)

  • Police and firefighters work near the scene of an apparent explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, in New York, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood appears to have come from a construction toolbox in front of a building. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation. More than two dozen people have sustained minor injuries in the explosion on West 23rd Street.(AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

    Police and firefighters work near the scene of an apparent explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, in New York, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood appears to have come from a construction toolbox in front of a building. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation. More than two dozen people have sustained minor injuries in the explosion on West 23rd Street.(AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Investigators scrambled to find out who planted a bomb that rocked a bustling New York City neighborhood and why Sunday, scouring shrapnel, forensic traces and surveillance video for any link to an unexploded pressure-cooker device found a few blocks away.

There seemed to be more questions than answers hours after the Saturday night blast that injured 29 people in Manhattan. All of them have since been released from the hospital.

"We just know there was a bombing," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at briefing at New York Police Department's headquarters. "That much we do know."

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who toured the site of the blast in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, said there didn't appear to be any link to international terrorism. He said a second device found blocks away from the bombing appeared "similar in design" to the first.

That device — described by a law enforcement official as a pressure cooker with wires and a cellphone attached to it — was removed early Sunday morning by a bomb squad robot and is being examined by forensic experts.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official wasn't authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation.

A pipe bomb explosion in Seaside Park, New Jersey, before a charity 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors earlier Saturday didn't appear to be connected to the Manhattan bombing, officials said, but added that they weren't ruling anything out yet. The race was canceled and no one was injured.

The bombing rocked the city's Chelsea neighborhood, a mostly residential part of Manhattan's west side known for its art galleries and large gay population.

Witnesses described hearing a deafening blast, and surveillance video footage captured images of nearby windows being blown out by the explosion as people sprinted away from the scene.

"It was extremely loud, almost like thunder but louder," said Rudy Alcide, a bouncer at a nightclub near the blast.

Members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force are investigating the blast along with New York Police Department detectives, fire marshals and other federal investigators. As a precaution, Cuomo said he was deploying an additional 1,000 state troopers and members of the National Guard throughout New York City.

The first device, which exploded on West 23rd Street at about 8:30 p.m., appeared to have been caused by an improvised explosive device placed inside a toolbox in front of a building undergoing construction, the law enforcement official said.

The second device, found later inside a plastic bag on West 27th Street, appeared to be a pressure cooker with wiring and a cellphone attached to it, the official said. That device has been sent to an FBI laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, to be examined, officials said.

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter & Instagram