- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 18, 2016

At least 29 people were injured when an explosion caused by what authorities say was likely a homemade bomb rocked a crowded neighborhood in central New York City on Saturday night.

While investigators later found and successfully defused a second explosive device — believed to be a pressure cooker bomb — on a nearby street in Manhattan, Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters it was too early to describe the situation as connected to terrorism.

At a news conference late Saturday night, Mr. de Blasio said only that authorities believed the explosion, which occurred shortly before 9 p.m., was an “intentional act.” But there was no claim of responsibility and investigators were still scrambling to determine a clear connection between the blast and the un-exploded pressure cooker bomb found afterwards.

Authorities were also searching for a possible connection to a separate incident that occurred hours earlier in New Jersey, where a pipe bomb that exploded in the town of Seaside Park shortly before thousands of runners were to participate in a charity 5K race to benefit Marines and sailors.

The race was canceled, although no injuries were reported and officials said there was no immediate evidence of ties to the developments in New York City.

Authorities described the un-exploded device found on Saturday as resembling the one used in the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, according to The New York Times, which also that the blast that occurred nearby had shattered windows, damaged cars and sent crowds running from a crowded nightlife scene along West 23rd Street in Chelsea.

SEE ALSO: Chris Christie, New Jersey governor: No apparent link in bombings in New York, New Jersey

No fatalities were reported. But there were indications that some of the 29 injuries were caused by shrapnel from the explosion that witnesses said came from a device apparently planted in a dumpster.

New York City Fire Department Commissioner Daniel Nigro said several people were taken to hospitals with injuries. One of the injured suffered a puncture wound that was considered serious. He said the other injuries were minor, described as scrapes and bruises.

A number of New York City subway routes were affected by the explosion, which rattled some New Yorkers just weeks after the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

“Tonight, New York City experienced a very bad incident,” Mr. de Blasio said at a news conference near the scene. “We have no credible and specific threat at this moment. “

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Guy Taylor can be reached at gtaylor@washingtontimes.com.

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