Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Authorities call NYC explosion a bombing, say motive unknown

Published:Monday | September 19, 2016 | 9:00 AM
Crime scene investigators work yesterday at the scene of Saturday's explosion in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, in New York.

UNITED STATES

NEW YORK (AP) Investigators scrambled yesterday to find out who planted a bomb that rocked a bustling New York City neighborhood, scouring shrapnel, forensic traces and surveillance video for any link to an unexploded pressure-cooker device found just blocks away.

Hours after the Saturday night blast that injured 29 people in Manhattan, there seemed to be more questions than answers. All the injured had been released from the hospital by yesterday afternoon.

"We just know there was a bombing," Mayor Bill de Blasio said at briefing at New York Police Department's headquarters. "That much we do know."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who toured the site of the blast in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, said there didn't appear to be any link to international terrorism. He said a second device found blocks away from the bombing appeared "similar in design" to the first.

That device - described by a law enforcement official as a pressure cooker with wires and a cellphone attached to it - was removed early yesterday by a bomb squad robot and was being examined by forensic experts. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorised to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation.

Homemade pressure cooker bombs were used in the Boston Marathon attacks in 2013 that killed three people and injured more than 260.

The Manhattan blast followed a pipe bomb explosion earlier Saturday in Seaside Park, New Jersey, before the start of a charity 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors. The devices contained different materials and didn't appear to be connected, officials said, but added that they weren't ruling anything out yet. The race was cancelled and no one was injured.

The New Jersey device contained evidence of a black powder, while the device that exploded in Manhattan had residue from an explosive called Tannerite, said a federal law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorised to discuss details of the ongoing investigation.

Tannerite is often used in target shooting to mark a shot with a cloud of smoke and small explosion.