Explosion of Undetermined Origin Heard Throughout West Chelsea

Photos by Scott Stiffler.

20160917_212710BY SCOTT STIFFLER | An explosion occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 17, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, on West 23rd Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, in the area of Selis Manor (for the blind and visually impaired, at 135 West 23rd Street).

The explosion was heard as far away as Tenth Avenue. As of 10pm, the NYPD Bomb Squad, Homeland Security, Con Edison, and the FDNY are on the scene. Multiple reports have the explosion originating from a dumpster.

Councilman Corey Johnson, who represents Chelsea, told NY1 that approximately two dozen people were wounded, and taken to area hospitals. No deaths are reported at this time. Chelsea Now was on the scene at around 9:15 p.m., when these photos were taken. More portions of the area are being closed off, as a search continues for other explosive devices.

UPDATED: 11:35pm, Sat., Sept. 17 | An 11:20 p.m. Sat., Sept. 17 press conference held following the 8:30 p.m. explosion on W. 23rd St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.: 29 injuries, 1 considerd serious, 24 transported to area hospitals; none expected to die. No evidence, at this time, of a connection to terrorism, although Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “We believe it was intentional,” seemingly ruling out eariler speculation of a link to construction happening at the point of the explosion, near Selis Manor (for the blind and visually impaired, 135 W. 23rd St.). As of 11:24pm, W. 27th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves., is being investigated by the NYPD as a secondary site of interest. The NYPD asks anyone with information to call 1-800-577-TIPS.