Explosion on 23rd Street leaves nearly 30 injured
An explosion on 23rd Street near a dumpster injured 29 people and caused extensive property damage on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Following the 8:30 p.m. explosion, an NYPD Terror unit and Bomb Squad were dispatched in order to investigate the scene for explosive devices. A secondary device, a pressure cooker affixed with wires, duct tape and a cell phone, was also found on 27th Street and removed by the Bomb Squad.
According to police, the explosion occurred between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue at 135 W. 23rd St., outside of Associated Blind Housing. The facility contains 200 public housing units for the visually impaired.
A majority of the injuries were non-life threatening, although one victim was reported to be in serious condition.
Witnesses describe hearing a loud noise, feeling a powerful blast and seeing white smoke near the explosion. Some report feeling the shock wave three blocks from the blast.
Surrounding buildings were evacuated following the explosion, while people inside the facility were told to stay inside pending police investigation. The FDNY examined surrounding buildings for any potential structural damage.
Police ruled out an accidental explosion and and reviewed surveillance footage of the explosion. At the same time, vehicle traffic was halted between Fifth Avenue and Eighth Avenue and from 14th Street to 32nd Street while investigators searched the area for clues.
"The initial indication is that this was an intentional act," said Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference following the incident.