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At least 29 people injured after explosion in Manhattan

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said authorities suspect a blast that occurred outside a home for the blind in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood was the result of "an intentional act."
September 18, 2016, 3:35am
Foto di Rashid Abbasi/Reuters

An explosion rattled the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea on Saturday night at the intersection of 23rd Street and 6th Avenue, injuring at least 29 people, according to New York City authorities.

"We believe at this point and time that this was an intentional act," Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press conference late Saturday evening. The mayor added that there was "no specific and credible threat against New York City at this time from any terror organization."

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None of the injuries are believed to be life threatening, but one person is said to be in serious condition.

The blast occurred around 8:30pm near the Associated Blind Housing facility at 135 W. 23rd Street, and blew out several of the building's lower windows. The explosion apparently came from a dumpster outside the building.

Police also investigated "a possible secondary device" on W. 27th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, reportedlya pressure cooker attached to wires and a cell phone. People who live on the block were warnedto stay away from their windows while the bomb squad dealt with the suspicious item.

Witnesses in the Chelsea neighborhood reported a loud explosion, followed by smoke. A VICE News reporter witnessed FBI agents and the NYPD bomb squad on the scene, and said authorities had cleared the block and cordoned off the area. Police said the area around the explosion "is being treated as crime scene."

Queens resident Mike Fleet said he was dogsitting at a building a two blocks away from the explosion on 7th Avenue and W. 21st Street, eating outside on a deck when the blast occurred.

He said he heard the explosion and "could feel a wave of pressure that pushed through neighborhood, it wasn't something small — the building shook, the deck shook, and I could feel the air move… the air was moving like an explosion."

Orsolya Pilter said she was staying with a friend in the area and could feel the explosion rattle their building from several blocks away.

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"We felt the ground shake," said Pilter, a native of Hungary who has lived in New York for the past 10 years and was in the city during the 9/11 attack. "We tend to put this possibility out of our minds, you can't walk around thinking about it, but when you hear a bang you think right away it was an explosion, it was a terrorist."

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump issued a statement suggesting the explosion was caused by a bomb, but authorities have not released any information about the suspected cause of the blast.

"I must tell you that just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what's going on," Trump said in a statement. "But boy, we are living in a time — we better get very tough, folks."

Trump's opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, said, "We should withhold judgment until we know more."

Earlier on Saturday, an explosion occurred during a Marine Corps charity run in Seaside Heights, New Jersey, a beach town about 80 miles south of New York City. The explosion, which did not cause any injuries, involved an improvised pipe bomb-style device placed inside a garbage can.

Bomb squad on the scene — Isabella MC (@_MCisabella)September 18, 2016

Huge explosion in Chelsea blew this dumpster … — Chris Duffy (@voicehalf)September 18, 2016

More from — Jason Calabretta (@JasonCalabretta)September 18, 2016

Explosion on 23rd and 6th. These two cars had back windows blown out while driving. 8 year old in back seat injured. — CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim)September 18, 2016

We'll update this post as more information becomes available.

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