Explosion in Chelsea “Intentional,” Injures 29

Alex Bazeley, Bobby Wagner
The FDNY Rescue Task Force responds to an explosion in Chelsea which down the surrounding two-block area.

Emergency vehicles responded to reports of an explosion in Chelsea at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue on Saturday evening, with 29 civilians being reported injured by the NYPD. None of the injuries are currently considered life-threatening.

The explosion occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m. Multiple people were seen being taken away in ambulances following the blast. The explosion occurred just blocks away from two NYU residence halls — Gramercy Hall, located at 23rd Street and 3rd Avenue, and Carlyle Court, at 15th Street and Union Square West.

Multiple helicopters circled the area in the time following the explosion. In his press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the city was treating this as an intentional attack, but one without apparent ties to terrorism.

Solange Fortenbach and Susan Darvishi, both CAS sophomores, were at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park when the explosion happened. Fortenbach said that Darvishi and their friend Lucas shot up when the explosion happened, with everyone’s first thought being that a bomb went off.

“The boom happened and everyone in [Madison Square Park] kind of froze, but then 10 seconds passed,” Fortenbach said. “After that people just went back to dialogue — and then all the sirens and fire trucks and cop cars started going by.”

Fortenbach said that, while walking back to their dorm, they passed 13 firetrucks, 21 cop cars and four ambulances.

“It’s Madison Square Park so you have tourists sitting there and hear all these different languages and people are just looking around at each other with big eyes,” Fortenbach said. “All of a sudden people from different tables started talking to each other, seeing if anyone knew anything. There was tension, but it was calm.”

“That was what freaked people out,” Darvishi said. “It didn’t sound like anything you would normally hear and New York is pretty loud.”

 

 

 

Police have sectioned off the surrounding area, directing bystanders and residents of the neighborhood to stay behind the barriers for the time being. WSN will update this story as more information comes in.

Additional reporting by Diamond Naga Siu, Abraham Gross and Paris Martineau.

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