A homemade bomb has gone off in New York City’s Central Park. One tourist has been injured. Check out the details below.
The explosive that ripped up a tourist’s leg in New York’s Central Park Sunday morning was most likely a ‘homemade’ firework or other explosive device, police have announced.
Connor Golden, 18, had his left foot ‘severely mutilated’ when he stepped on something as he was climbing rocks with friends Thomas Hinds, 20, and Matthew Stabile, 18.
Despite fears that the explosive was a terrorist device, cops say it was more likely a pre-Independence Day ‘experiment’ by a chemistry enthusiast, and that the chances of Golden – or anyone – triggering the explosive were low.
Speaking at a press conference held in front of the rock where the explosion took place, NYPD Deputy Chief John O’Connell said that there was ‘no evidence that (the explosion) was related to terrorism’ and that there had been ‘no credible threats against New York’.
These conclusions were preliminary, O’Connell warned, but police were confident in their beliefs.
The officer went on to say that it was ‘not unusual’ for people to experiment with homemade explosives and fireworks around July 4.
Cops believe the intent of the explosive’s creator was just to ‘make a loud noise, make a flash’, he said.
The explosion occurred at 10:52am, when Golden leaped off the rock and landed on the device, which detonated, severely damaging his foot.
The fact that his two friends were unharmed, and that the damage was only to one leg, was evidence that it was not intended to harm anyone, O’Connell said.
It had been placed in an area where ‘no-one would ordinarily step’, he added, but told reported that Golden and his friends were not involved in building the device.
Police believe it had been there for at least a day.
Preliminary analysis by the NYPD bomb squad suggests that the device was not pressure sensitive, but that it was made of ‘homemade material’ that was sensitive to blows.
Another source told NY Post that the ‘tiny’ device had been contained in a brown bag and was surrounded by wet matches.
A bomb squad expert said that building such a device would require a good knowledge of chemistry – but nothing that couldn’t be gleaned from an internet search.
Police are continuing to look for further evidence, and are appealing for witnesses and video of the area.
Golden, who was visiting New York from Fairfax, Virginia, was seen being treated at the scene with his bloodied foot heavily bandaged; in another, his toes can be seen pointing in the wrong direction.
He is currently undergoing surgery at Bellevue Hospital and his condition is described as ‘stable’, FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Michael Gala said.
The explosion occurred near the Fifth Avenue and East 62nd Street area, a short distance away from the Central Park Zoo.
The boys – who arrived in New York on Saturday evening – were climbing over the large boulders that dot the park when the horrific accident occurred.
Hinds told the NY Post that they were looking for places to ‘slackline’ – a practice similar to tightrope walking – when the device went off.
Golden was in the middle of the three as they dismounted a rock, Hinds said.