Last updated: 11:01 AM ET, Sun September 18 2016

Intentional Blast Injures 29 In NYC

Impacting Travel | Rich Thomaselli | September 18, 2016

Intentional Blast Injures 29 In NYC

In an act of possible domestic terrorism, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said a homemade bomb detonated Saturday night in a dumpster in the Chelsea neighborhood of the city – a popular, crowded area among tourists and residents alike – was “intentional.”

The bomb, set off near the Townhouse Inn on West 23rd St., injured at least 29 people.

Heightening tensions in the city, authorities discovered a second, unexploded device nearby at West 27th St. and Sixth Ave. A pipe bomb also went off in a garbage can in Seaside Park., N.J. on Saturday during a Marine Corps charity run, but authorities said they do not believe the New York and New Jersey incidents are connected.

Police shut down the West 23rd St. block for several hours, leaving people who were trying to get to their apartments or cars stranded on the fringe and people who were already home basically barricaded.

Almost 60 million tourists, a record, visited New York City last year and Chelsea is one of its most popular attractions. The neighborhood is filled with upscale designer clothing and low-price thrift shops; some of the best art galleries in the city, especially contemporary works; a bevy of highly acclaimed restaurants, including celebrity chef Mario Batali’s highly acclaimed Del Posto; and numerous bars and night spots, including the famed art deco Flatiron Lounge.

Luke McConnell, a tourist visiting from Colorado, told the New York Times: “I felt it, like a concussion wave, heading towards me. Then there was a cloud of white smoke that came from the left side of 23rd Street near Sixth. There was no fire, just smoke.”

Update 11:00am: Governor Andrew Cuomo  has come out and called the incident terrorism, but no connections to “international terrorism” at this point. 

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