As law enforcement agencies continue to probe the cause of the "intentional" blast that injured dozens of people on a Manhattan block last night, surveillance videos showing the blast have emerged.
You can see the blast in two videos from Orangetheory Fitness, located at 124 West 23rd Street in Chelsea—the explosion happened around 131 West 23rd Street. One is from the inside vestibule, while another is from the street. Pedestrians can be see running after the explosion:
— Adrian Arambulo (@AdrianNBCLA) September 18, 2016
The explosion could be heard and felt from blocks away. "Scared to death. It was that — it went right through you, it was shaking the earth. Like an earthquake, it was really loud. I never heard anything so loud," Soleil Filomena said to WCBS 2. One resident told the Daily News, "It was red, orange in the middle. It was a circle of fire. The whole block shook. The fire was up in the air. People were running for their lives."
Ryan McMillen, who was headed to the subway with her wife and children, said, "It felt like a pipe bomb. It wasn’t huge. It was some sort of a bomb. It wasn’t a car backfiring ... I still feel it in my chest.”
Altogether, 29 people were hurt in the explosion, but there were no life-threatening injuries. Some injuries seem related to shrapnel; one pedestrian told the News he saw people with, "pieces of little metal, like half an inch, into their body, their face." A damaged dumpster was seen at the scene, and the NYPD Counterterrorism Unit Tweeted another person's photo of it:
— NYPDCounterterrorism (@NYPDCT) September 18, 2016
However, at the press conference, authorities did not confirm the blast occurred in or near the dumpster. From the NY Times:
Video captured before the explosion shows a man crossing “the street in the direction of where the device was found,” the same official said. But no video had yet been obtained clearly showing anyone placing the device in the spot where it detonated.
“We don’t understand the target or the significance of it,” the police official said. “It’s by a pile of dumpsters on a random sidewalk.”
CNN reports that a couple driving through Chelsea had their car "lifted up by the force of the blast, damaging the left side of the vehicle." David Martinez said, "I was driving a car and next thing you know I felt an explosion. I just blacked out, next thing I know I'm in an ambulance." His partner, Brenda Abero, is pregnant and was uninjured. Martinez added, "[I] Thought I was close to not seeing my son again, that was the scariest part."
Mayor Bill de Blasio said last night, "The initial indications is this was an intentional act." He added that it did not appear to be related to terrorism in nature: "There is no specific and credible threat against New York City at this point in time from any terror organization."
Police found a suspicious device on West 27th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, prompting them to send a "precautionary" warning to residents on the street to stay away from windows. The device, which did not detonate, was removed safely and taken to the NYPD firing range in the Bronx.
According to the Post, "Police sources described the secondary device as a cooker with wiring and a cell phone attached inside a plastic grocery bag, which had been placed inside a garbage can."
— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) September 18, 2016
Another suspicious package at 28th Street and 5th Avenue turned out to be garbage. Because the investigation is ongoing, the 1 and 2 trains are skipping 23rd and 28th Streets (the 3 isn't running this weekend) and the E and F trains are skipping 23rd Street.
The next press conference is at noon. The NYPD is asking for any tips, photos or videos regarding the explosion—you can call 800-577-TIPS.