Manhattan bombing could be connected to foreign terrorism, NY governor says

New York City firefighters stand near the site of an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, Sept. 17, 2016. 
(Reuters/CBS News)
New York City firefighters stand near the site of an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, Sept. 17, 2016. (Reuters/CBS News)

UPDATE:

9/19, 11:00 A.M. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says investigators have no reason to believe that there are further threats, but the public should “be on constant guard.”

Cuomo was at Manhattan’s Penn Station to thank state troopers and National Guard members for their work protecting the public during and after the New York City and New Jersey shore town bombings.

Cuomo says he spoke to President Barack Obama on Monday. He says the president also expressed appreciation for the work of first responders.

9/19, 8:00 A.M. — New York’s governor now says it looks like Manhattan bombing could be act of terrorism with foreign connections.


(ORIGINAL STORY)

NEW YORK CITY, NY (CBS News) — An explosion shook a New York City neighborhood Saturday night, leaving more than two dozen people injured.

The blast occurred on West 23rd Street in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood shortly after 8:30 p.m. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was too early to determine what caused the explosion, but early indications are that it was an “intentional act.” However, de Blasio said it there was no evidence of a terrorism connection as of late Saturday night.

Still, law enforcement sources told CBS News the Joint Terrorism Task Force is ramping up operations in New York.

A trash dumpster was apparently damaged in an explosion in the Manhattan borough of New York on Sept. 17, 2016. (Chris Duffy/CBS News)
A trash dumpster was apparently damaged in an explosion in the Manhattan borough of New York on Sept. 17, 2016. (Chris Duffy/CBS News)

NYPD commissioner James O’Neill, who just took over command of the police department Friday, said investigators have ruled out a natural gas explosion. Sources told CBS News the explosion occurred in a dumpster.

Twenty-nine people were hurt in the explosion, including one considered seriously injured, officials said.

“This is a very dense area, the whole block is restaurants and residences and this area on a warm Saturday night is an area swarming with people,” New York City Councilman Cory Johnson told 1010 WINS.

Johnson, who represents the area, said that FBI and federal Homeland Security officials were on the scene, in addition to New York City police.

The NYPD investigated a possible second device, confirmed to be a pressure cooker, on 27th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. A bomb disposal robot was deployed at the scene and the device was safely removed for further analysis, police said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, center right, speak during a press conference near the scene of an explosion on West 23rd Street in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood in New York Sept. 17, 2016. Police say more than two dozen people were injured in the explosion. (AP Photo/CBS News)
Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, center right, speak during a press conference near the scene of an explosion on West 23rd Street in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood in New York Sept. 17, 2016. Police say more than two dozen people were injured in the explosion. (AP Photo/CBS News)

Police investigated a third suspicious package on 28th Street and 5th Ave., but it turned out to be nothing dangerous.

Meanwhile, law enforcement was already reviewing surveillance video of the area where the explosion occurred looking for clues, CBS station WCBS reported.

The blast comes hours after a pipe bomb exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey, shortly before thousands of runners participated in a charity 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors. De Blasio said there was no evidence at this point that the two incidents were connected.

Social media was quickly flooded with images and videos from the scene, including one purporting to show the moment the explosion occurred.

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