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Explosion In Manhattan Injures At Least 29

Police officers and firefighters respond to an explosion on Saturday at 23rd Street and 7th Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Authorities say more than two dozen people have been taken to hospitals with injuries, none of which are thought to be life threatening.
Jamie McCarthy Getty Images
Police officers and firefighters respond to an explosion on Saturday at 23rd Street and 7th Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. Authorities say more than two dozen people have been taken to hospitals with injuries, none of which are thought to be life threatening.

An explosion in Manhattan has injured at least 29 people, according to officials in New York City. None of the injuries appear life-threatening, police say.

Mayor Bill de Blasio says initial investigations suggest the explosion, on West 23rd Street in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood, was an "intentional act," but that there is "no evidence at this point" of a connection to terrorism.

After de Blasio said police were investigating "a second potential device" several blocks away, NYPD spokesperson J. Peter Donald tweeted the NYPD has "safely" removed a suspicious package from West 27th Street "for further analysis." Police had warned residents on West 27th St, between 6th and 7th Avenues, to stay away from their windows as they "clear the suspicious package."

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At a press conference Saturday night, the mayor cautioned that the investigation was still in the early stages and there was little that authorities could definitively say about the explosion. But he said there was no specific and credible terror threat against New York City.

The explosion occurred around 8:30 p.m. Eastern time. The New York Police Department's bomb squad and counterterrorism units responded to the scene, along with other officers and emergency medical services.

The NYPD's counterterrorism department tweeted out a photo that appears to show a mangled dumpster, calling it an "update" on the 23rd Street explosion. At the press conference, de Blasio would not confirm the specific site of the explosion's origin, but did say it appeared to be outdoors.

NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill said at the press conference that evidence did not suggest the explosion was caused by "any natural gas cause," and he said the location is being treated as a crime scene.

President Obama has been briefed on the situation, according to a White House official.

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Journalist Josh Marshall lives across the street from the site of the explosion but wasn't there when it happened. He wrote in a post on his site, Talking Points Memo, that a large building at the location described by authorities has been the site of "low-intensity construction" for months.

The street is not normally the site of heavy foot traffic, he says.

This is a breaking news story. As often happens in situations like these, some information reported early may turn out to be inaccurate. We'll move quickly to correct the record and we'll only point to the best information we have at the time.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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