A thunderous explosion rocked a Chelsea street Saturday night — injuring at least 29 people, blasting out windows and sending scores of panicked pedestrians running for their lives, cops and witnesses said.
The ground-shaking detonation on W. 23rd St. between Sixth and Seventh Aves. was “an intentional act,” Mayor de Blasio said at the scene, adding the investigation is in its early stages.
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“There is no evidence at this point of a terror connection,” the mayor said.
A second device, a pressure cooker with wires and a cell phone attached to it, was found in a white garbage bag four blocks away on W. 27th St., sources said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said at an 11:15 p.m. news conference that the explosion appeared to have been “an intentional act” but that there was no evidence that terrorism had been involved, although the investigation was continuing. The blast shattered windows in a five-story brownstone building and sent debris into the street, a law enforcement official said. The building is between a church on its eastern side and an apartment building under renovation on its western side.
Of the 29 people hurt, one suffered serious injuries, said Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill.
As a precaution, the police and fire personnel were searching trash cans for possible explosive devices, officials said. Mr. de Blasio said the police were investigating a device that had been found a few blocks from the explosion, on West 27th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue.
A Police Department spokesman, J. Peter Donald, said on Twitter that officials were asking residents on West 27th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue to stay away from windows facing the street “until we clear the suspicious package.”