New York’s Central Park was rattled by an explosion so loud that many witnesses described it as a cannon being fired nearby. After the smoke cleared, one young man had a partially severed leg, including a mostly missing foot. [Scroll Down For Video]
Police believe the young man was climbing down from a rock when he stepped on the shock sensitive explosives which were hidden in a black bag. The explosion was so loud it was heard by funeral goers at the nearby funeral for Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel.
Initial reports seemed to indicate that the victim, 18 year old Connor Golden from Virginia, may have been playing with fireworks himself when the explosion occurred, but it now appears that is not the case and the explosive device was likely in the park for at least a day before the incident.
The incident is not believed to be connected to terrorism and police believe it was some sort of experiment with homemade explosives that failed and was then left in the park by its creator.
“There were no timers or trips or wires or even shrapnel,” a source told the NY Daily News. “It was not set up with any sophistication. If he was going to harm people, he wouldn’t have put it far off the path. They also would have put some nails or ball bearings in it.”
According to a report from CNN:
Preliminary investigation suggests the explosion was an “experiment with fireworks or homemade explosives,” NYPD Deputy Chief John O’Connell said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.
“We do not have any evidence of a constructed device or commercial-grade fireworks,” he said. “There are no specific, credible threats directed at New York or the July Fourth celebrations.”
It is not unusual for people to try and make homemade fireworks around the Fourth of July, O’Connell said, calling such activity “completely unadvisable.”
However, a follow up video report from CNN described the blast as being “more sinister than originally thought.”
Some of Golden’s friends who were in the park with him were quickly interviewed by responding media agencies. The friends appear to almost be in shock over the situation and repeatedly say they don’t know what happened.
Despite the belief that the incident was not terror related, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has taken over the case and will be investigating the source of the explosive.
Golden is being treated at an area hospital where he is described as being in serious, but stable condition. He underwent an operation on the affected area of his leg.