(SOURCE) An explosion that injured at least 29 people in New York City late Saturday appeared to be “an intentional act,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said, as sources told Fox News a second device — a pressure cooker — was found four blocks away.
De Blasio said the explosion had no known connection to terrorism and wasn’t related to a pipe bomb explosion at a charity run in New Jersey earlier Saturday.
“Tonight, New York City experienced a very bad incident,” de Blasio said at a news conference near the scene in Chelsea. “We have no credible and specific threat at this moment.”
The blast, which happened at around 8:30 p.m. on West 23rd Street, appeared to originate from a construction toolbox in front of a building, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. A garbage can was found mangled nearby.
Less than three hours after the explosion, investigators located a pressure cooker inside a plastic bag at West 27th Street that was attached to wiring and a cellphone, a law enforcment source told Fox News. It was not clear what was inside the device. Police advised residents of the block where the pressure cooker was found to stay away from windows facing 27th Street.
Early Sunday, police said the pressure cooker had been removed from the area and would be taken to the department’s firing range in the Bronx for further analysis. Pressure cooker bombs placed inside garbage cans were used by the terrorists who bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013.
At least 24 people were taken to hospitals with injuries, New York Police Department spokesman J. Peter Donald said. One of the people injured in the blast suffered a puncture wound that was considered serious. Officials said the other injuries were minor, described mostly as scrapes and bruises. All of the injured were expected to survive, the FDNY reported.
Fox News was told there had been no prior intelligence suggesting Saturday’s events may have been imminent. Sources also said it did not appear to be a gas explosion.
The FBI and NYPD would not rule out terrorism as a possible factor but law enforcement sources told Fox News it was too early to determine the exact cause. Police did not say whether they had any potential suspects. Homeland Security officials and the ATF arson and explosive task force were also aiding the investigation.
Witnesses said the explosion blew out the windows of businesses and scattered debris in the area. One witness told Fox News the explosion sent a “big cloud of black smoke” into the air as people ran from the scene. Another said a fireball shot into the air as a nearby building shook.
Jon Avidor, who lives near the blast site, said mirrors fell off his walls when the explosion occurred.
“I thought it might be a bomb just because it felt like one,” Avidor told “Fox & Friends.”
Police counterterrorism officers, a bomb squad and firefighters rushed to the scene.
“All hands are on deck,” de Blasio said.
The blast happened in front of a residence for the blind, near a major thoroughfare with many restaurants and a Trader Joe’s supermarket.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and urge New Yorkers to, as always, remain calm and vigilant,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The White House said President Barack Obama has been apprised of the explosion, which came hours after a pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Park, N. J. That blast occurred shortly before thousands of runners participated in a charity 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors. No injuries were reported.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump described the incident as a “bomb” going off and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said she had been briefed on “bombings in New York and New Jersey.”
Fox News’ Matt Dean, Peter Doocy, Kelly Chernenkoff, Bryan Llenas, Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.