Authorities say they see no connection to terrorism in what they call an “intentional” bombing attack Saturday night that left at least 29 injured.
New York Mayor Bill der Blasio said that a second scene was being investigated in addition to the one that rocked a Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan.
Clip via Pix11
“Tonight, New York City experienced a very bad incident,” de Blasio said at a news conference near the scene, according to the Middletown Times Herald-Record. “We have no credible and specific threat at this moment.”
Although the mayor referred to the explosion as “an intentional act,” he attempted to quell fears by stating it was unrelated to a pipe bomb explosion that occurred earlier that day at the beginning of a Seaside Park, New Jersey charity event.
“New Yorkers will not be intimidated. We will not let anyone change who we are or how we go about our lives,” he said.
Witnesses described the West 23rd Street explosion and the chaos that resulted to the media.
“It was loud. It was very loud,” Crown Heights resident Fredrick Farrell told Pix11. “I was on 21st Street and the blast sounded like it was right next door.”
Local resident Wayne Teigman described what happened after the explosion.
“The building shook, it was a huge, intense explosion.” Teigman told Pix11. “I saw people running west on 23rd Street.”
Of the 29 injured. 14 were hospitalized — one with serious injuries.
Authorities are asking that anyone with information about the explosion to come forward.
We do think this was an intentional act. You can help your #NYPD. If you saw/heard something, please call 800-577-TIPS and/or 888-NYC-SAFE.
— Commissioner O’Neill (@NYPDONeill) September 18, 2016
The mayor’s reaction to Saturday night’s blast has been typical for de Blasio following previous acts of terrorism — both here and abroad.
In the wake of November’s multi-targeted terrorist attacks in Paris that left 137 dead, the mayor response was to step up outreach to Muslim residents, according to WABC.
“We also have an important mission to deepen the relationship between the Muslim community and the city government,” de Blasio said at the time. “We believe that is important for all. We believe that wasn’t done enough in the past.”
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