A powerful explosion caused by what authorities say was a homemade bomb set off in a sidewalk dumpster on 23rd Street (between 6th 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. 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.”
A second IED device, found on West 27th Street, was described as resembling a pressure cooker like the one used in the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, an official said. A senior police official confirmed that photographs of the device shared on social media, which showed a silver piece of cookware with wires and a cellphone attached, were authentic. The official said the Police Department’s bomb squad was taking the device to a department facility, where robots would inspect it. The official said investigators “don’t have any suspects” and were not questioning anyone.