At least 29 people were injured in an explosion that rocked New York’s Chelsea neighbourhood at roughly 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday night.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference just hours after the blast, there was “early indication that [the explosion] was an intentional act.”
But he was quick to note that “there was no evidence at this point of a terror connection.”
The incident happened outside 135 West 23rd St., which is the Associated Blind Housing facility, which provides services for the blind, Reuters reports.
Blasio also confirmed the FBI and the NYPD bomb squad were among those investigating the crime scene. There was also a second site being investigated just four blocks away at West 27th St. between 6th and 7th avenues. No information was given on the nature of that investigation.
NYPD police commissioner James O’Neill said there were 29 people injured, one of which was serious due to a “puncture” wound. None of the injuries were life-threatening.
Reuters reports that FBI and New York police are both investigating the blast, which was described as “deafening” by a witness.
The cause of the explosion is still under investigation. Reuters reports that investigators were looking into the possibility that the blast could have been triggered by nearby construction explosives, and a law enforcement official, who spoke anonymously, told the Associated Press that it appeared to come from a construction toolbox. Gas has been ruled out as a cause.
Officials also said they are investigating video of the explosion, but anyone with more video or other information was asked to contact the NYPD at 1-800-577-TIPS.
The official Twitter account for the chief of the NYPD Couterterrorism unit released a photo of the explosion site.
— NYPDCounterterrorism (@NYPDCT) September 18, 2016
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.
Blasio told reporters there was no “specific evidence” to connect the explosion with the pipe bomb in New Jersey.
— N∑H∆ (@nnehajainn) September 18, 2016
NYC explosion pic.twitter.com/sJJcRpV0n3
— Liz Mandel (@elisabetherapy) September 18, 2016