At least 26 people were injured after an explosion occurred in Manhattan trash bin on West 23rd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Chelsea around 8:30 p.m. on 17 September 2016
The Fire Department (FDNY) said none of the injures appear to be life-threatening. Photographs posted on social media seemingly showed a trash bin that had been mangled in the blast:
Huge explosion in Chelsea blew this dumpster … pic.twitter.com/1lSIGjRyC8
— Chris Duffy (@voicehalf) September 18, 2016
The cause of the explosion is still unclear, but a police bomb squad was called in as a precaution to look for additional devices in the nearby areas while police were searching cars and trash cans in the area.
The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force is on the scene, President Barack Obama has been apprised of the situation, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) said a New York arson and explosives task force was responding to the blast. The New York Office of Emergency Management and the NYPD’s counterterrorism unit also said they were responding.
“It was a loud boom, a deep boom,” said an eyewitness who was eating dinner nearby. “We all ran out and went down the street. You could feel it in your chest and in your legs.”
— Ray Strazdas (@raystrazdas) September 18, 2016
Neha Jain, 24, said the explosion shattered the glass in her building’s lobby. “There was a loud boom and our entire apartment shook,” said Jain. “All the pictures fell to the floor and then I heard people screaming. My first thought was it’s a bomb,” Jain said. “It’s quite terrifying.”
Facebook said they have activated their “Safety Check” feature so that users can easily notify friends and family members of their status.