25 injured in explosion in NYC neighborhood
The fire department tweeted that none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening
By Karen Matthews
NEW YORK — An apparent explosion in a crowded Chelsea neighborhood of New York City on Saturday night left 25 people with minor injuries, authorities said.
Police spokesman J. Peter Donald said on Twitter that the explosion happened at about 8:30 p.m. Saturday on West 23rd Street, which is a major thoroughfare with many restaurants.
He says several people were taken to hospitals with injuries. The Fire Department tweeted that none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening.
No detail about the extent of damage was immediately available. A number of New York City subway routes have been affected by the incident.
Chris Gonzalez, visiting from Dallas, was having dinner with friends at a restaurant in the area.
"We felt it, we heard it, the restaurant went real quiet, the 26-year-old Gonzalez said. "It wasn't like jolting or anything, everyone just went quiet."
Witnesses say FBI and Homeland Security officials, along with the ATF arson and explosive task force are also at the scene.
A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that the FBI's joint terrorism task force was responding and that investigators did not believe the incident was due to a gas leak. The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and requested anonymity.
The White House said President Barack Obama has been apprised of the explosion in New York City and will be updated as additional information becomes available.
The reports of a possible blast come 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. No injuries were reported.