One of five devices found in N.J. city explodes, mayor says

One of 5 devices found in backpack at Elizabeth, New Jersey train tracks accidentally detonates as bomb squad robot attempted to disarm it early on September 19, 2016  (Andres Bayona/CBS News)
One of 5 devices found in backpack at Elizabeth, New Jersey train tracks accidentally detonates as bomb squad robot attempted to disarm it early on September 19, 2016 (Andres Bayona/CBS News)

ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBS News) — The city’s mayor says one of five devices found in a backpack near a train station exploded while a bomb squad robot was attempting to disarm it.

Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage says the package blew up shortly after 12:30 a.m. Monday. The FBI was leading the investigation and working to disarm the other four devices.

Bollwage tells CBS News the explosion was unintentional.

There were no reports of injuries. Bollwage says to expect more detonations. He adds there was no damage to the train infrastructure nearby.

Bollwage also says police were reviewing surveillance from a nearby bar.

He says two men called police and reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of a package after finding it in trash around 8:30 p.m. Sunday. But, he tells CBS News, the men didn’t see who dropped the device in the trash.

The men, who were scavengers, left the package under the tracks and ran to a police station to report what they had found, says CBS New York.

New Jersey Transit says service has been suspended between Newark Liberty Airport and Elizabeth. New York’s emergency management department says New Jersey-bound Amtrak trains are being held at New York’s Penn Station, interrupting some service on the busy Northeast Corridor.

The discovery of the suspicious package came a day after an explosion in Manhattan injured 29 people, and an unexploded pressure-cooker device was found four blocks away. There was no word of any connection between the Elizabeth devices and the Manhattan explosion.

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