A homemade bomb hidden in a trashcan has exploded in New York injuring at least 29 people.
A second suspected bomb in a pressure cooker with wires attached to it and connected to what resembled a mobile phone was found blocks away.
CCTV caught the moment the explosive device detonated blasting out windows, damaging cars and sending dozens of terrified people running for their lives just days after the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The blast occurred at 8.30pm on 23rd Street, a major east-west thoroughfare in the fashionable downtown neighborhood of Chelsea as people enjoyed the New York city nightlife.
Eye-witnesses described the moment the device went off as NY city mayor Bill de Blasio said it was an “intentional act.”
At least 29 people have reportedly been injured as a blast rocked the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S on Sept. 17, 2016. Reportedly, the explosive device was in or near a dumpster in the area. City officials are yet to confirm the precise reason for the explosion.
According to reports, another device, reported to be a pressure cooker, with some wires coming out of the top, has been found at a second location near the explosion scene.
Jakir Aussin, who works at a Dunkin Donuts at 23rd and Sixth Avenue, said: “It was a quiet night, and then I heard this deafening boom.
“My first thought was, ‘Oh god, a bomb,’ so I got down on the floor.
“I looked outside and it’s all broken glass, car alarms going off — I still don’t know what happened.”
“Pictures on my wall fell, the window curtain came flying as if there was a big gush of wind,” she told Reuters. “Then we could smell smoke. We went downstairs to see what happened, and firemen immediately told us to go back.”
The Bomb disposal unit was called to examine the device and mobile phone footage taken by residents captured the moment a robot recovered the suspected bomb.
Pressure cookers packed with explosives and detonated with timing devices were used by two Massachusetts brothers in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and wounded more than 260.
New York City Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said 29 people were hurt in the blast, and 24 of them had been taken to hospitals, including one he described as seriously injured.
The rest suffered various cuts, scrapes and other minor injuries.
Hundreds of people were seen fleeing down the block as police rushed to cordon off the area.
Chris Gonzalez, visiting from Dallas, was having dinner with friends at a restaurant in the area.
“We felt it, we heard it, the restaurant went real quiet, the 26-year-old said. “It wasn’t like jolting or anything, everyone just went quiet.”
Rudy Alcide, a bouncer at Vanity Nightclub at 21st Street and 6th Avenue, said he, at first, thought something large had fallen.
“It was an extremely loud noise, everything was shaking, the windows were shaking, it was crazy,” he said. “It was extremely loud, almost like thunder, but louder.”
Tsi Tsi Mallett, who was driving along 23rd Street when the explosion took place, said the blast blew out her vehicle’s rear window. Her 10-year-old son in the back seat was unhurt, she said.
“It was really loud, it hurt my eardrums.”
At a press conference Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “Tonight, New York City experienced a very bad incident.
“We have no credible and specific threat at this moment. There is no evidence at this point of a terror connection,”
He added: “Whatever the cause, whatever the intention here, New Yorkers are not going to be intimidated.
“We’re not going to change who we are or how we go about our lives.”
The mayor added that investigators did not believe there was any link to a pipe bomb that exploded earlier on Saturday in the New Jersey beach town of Seaside Park.
No injuries were reported in that blast, from a device planted in a plastic trash can along the route of a charity foot race.