MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The explosion at the moment has not been officially linked to terrorism, but is believed to be intentional. A second and third "suspicious" objects have been reportedly found in the follow-up police operation.
Investigation is ongoing. Though we believe this was an intentional act, there is no credible terror threat against NYC at this moment.— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) 18 сентября 2016 г.
The explosion took place in the intersection of 23rd Street and 6th Avenue at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday (00:30 GMT Sunday). Investigators, cited by CNN, believe that an explosion device was planted inside or near a dumpster in a crowded area where multiple bars and restaurants are located.
"We want to be very clear, the early indications, the initial indications are this was an intentional act," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters.
The official added, however, that in the meantime the incident is not believed to be a terrorist attack.
"There is no evidence at this point of a terror connection to this instant, this is a preliminary information, it is something we will be investigating very carefully, but there is no evidence at this point of a terror connection…. I want to say more broadly, there is no specific and credible threat against New York City at this point in time from any terror organization," he pointed out.
An improvised explosive device exploded on Saturday morning in Seaside Park, New Jersey, along the route of a major charity race that was expected to involve some 5,000 athletes. A Semper Five race, that was expected to have started by then, was delayed due to late sign-ins, "which thankfully avoided a large number of runners in the area," the statement issued by the local prosecutor's office read.
Suspicious Pressure Cooker
A possible second explosive device was later found in another location in Chelsea. At 12:13 a.m., the New York City Police Department called on the local residents "to stay away from windows facing 27th Street until we clear the area of a suspicious package."
On April 15, 2013, two pressure cooker bombs exploded close to the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon killing three people and injuring 264 others.
Police continue the investigation at the scene with crosstown traffic eastbound and westbound closed from West 14 Street to West 32 street and from 5th Avenue to 8th Avenue, NYPD said in a statement.