At Least 25 Injured in Explosion in Manhattan
None of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening, the Fire Department said on Twitter.
The explosion was reported around 8:30 p.m. at 133 West 23rd Street, near the Avenue of the Americas, the department said, adding that there was a report that it emanated from a Dumpster.
The authorities were unsure of the cause of the explosion and were exploring various possibilities.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said at an 11:15 p.m. news conference that the explosion appeared to have been “an intentional act” but that there was no evidence that terrorism had been involved, although the investigation was continuing. The blast shattered windows in a five-story brownstone building and sent debris into the street, a law enforcement official said. The building is between a church on its eastern side and an apartment building under renovation on its western side.
As a precaution, the police and fire personnel were searching trash cans for possible explosive devices, officials said. At 11 p.m., the police said on Twitter that a “possible secondary device” had been found at 27th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue.
The task force from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was responding, the bureau said on Twitter. Corey Johnson, a city councilman whose district includes the area where the explosion occurred, said officials from the Homeland Security Department had also responded.
In Washington, the White House issued a brief statement saying that President Obama had been briefed on the developing situation in New York. “The president has been apprised of the explosion in New York City, the cause of which remains under investigation,” the statement said. “The president will be updated as additional information becomes available.”
Mr. Johnson said the blast happened outside Associated Blind Housing, a 14-story building with 210 units for residents who are blind or visually impaired.
Luke McConnell was visiting from Colorado and was headed toward a restaurant on West 27th Street.
“I heard a big boom,” he said. “I felt it, like a concussive wave, heading towards me.” He added: “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.”
J.B. Rund was relaxing in his apartment on West 24th Street when he heard what he described as “an ear-splitting explosion.”
“It sounded like a bomb went off, and then the ground started shaking,” Mr. Rund, 73, said.
The blast forced the shutdown of Seventh Avenue between 23rd and 25th Streets, and 23rd Street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue. It also disrupted subway service on the F and E lines, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said on Twitter.
The explosion in Manhattan occurred about 11 hours after an improvised device exploded in a garbage can near the course of a charity race that was about to begin in a small town on the Jersey Shore. That device went off around 9:30 a.m. near the boardwalk in Seaside Park, N.J., according to the Ocean County sheriff, Mike Mastronardi.
There were no injuries. The race, the Seaside Semper Five, a five-kilometer run and charity event along the waterfront that raises money for members of the United States Marine Corps and their families, was canceled.
The Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, weighed in on the news while campaigning in Colorado Springs on Saturday night. Mr. Trump made the remarks about 45 minutes after the explosion was reported, before the authorities had made any determinations about what had happened and while the situation was still in flux.
“I must tell you that just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what’s going on,” he said. “But boy, we are living in a time — we better get very tough, folks.”
The Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, was informed of the episode after she gave a speech at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual awards dinner, her campaign said.