Dozens injured as explosion rocks New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood

World Today

Police guard buildingPolice guard the area as they search for an explosive device on West 27th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, in New York, early Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

An explosion Saturday night in the crowded Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea has left 29 people injured. Authorities said a second nearby site was also being investigated. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the blast an “intentional act,” but there was no terrorist connection.

“Tonight, New York City experienced a very bad incident,” de Blasio said at a news conference near the scene in Chelsea. “We have no credible and specific threat at this moment. ”

The mayor also said there is no specific connection to a pipe bomb explosion in the New Jersey shore town of Seaside Park earlier Saturday at a charity run.

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, and NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill, left, react during a press conference near the scene of an explosion on West 23rd street in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

The blast happened in front of a residence for the blind. Witnesses say the explosion at about 8:30 p.m. blew out the windows of businesses in the area.

Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said several people were taken to hospitals with injuries. One of the injured suffered a puncture wound that was considered serious. He said the other injuries were minor, described as scrapes and bruises.

Firefighters arrive at the scene of an apparent explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, in New York, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Firefighters arrive at the scene of an apparent explosion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, in New York, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

An Emergency Alert appears on a mobile phone concerning a suspicious package on West 27th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, early Sunday morning, Sept. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Maria Sanminiatelli)

(AP Photo/Maria Sanminiatelli)

Early Sunday morning, residents near the area where officials were investigating a second explosive device received alerts on the city’s emergency warning system.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that the second device that officers were investigating four blocks from the scene appeared to be a pressure cooker attached to wiring and a cellphone. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak about an ongoing investigation, said the device was found inside a plastic bag on West 27th Street.

The law enforcement official also said the explosion appears to have come from a construction toolbox in front of a building. New York officials said the incident was not due to a gas leak, as some had speculated.

CCTV America’s Liling Tan was on the scene and brought us these reports via FB Live.

11:25 p.m. – Liling Tan speaks to a resident of the Chelsea neighborhood

10:56 p.m. – Liling Tan reports on the latest known on the apparent blast in Chelsea

At 9:42 p.m., Twitter user Danilo Gabrielli shot this footage, stating that the area surrounding the site of the explosion was being evacuated.

At 8:47 p.m., Twitter user Sergey tweeted these photos – only moments after the explosion occurred.

Police spokesman J. Peter Donald said on Twitter that the explosion happened at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

Story by the Associated Press