A homemade explosive device tore off the foot of a teenage tourist in New York’s Central Park on Sunday, a short distance from where the funeral for Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel.
Friends who were with the victim, 18-year old Connor Golden, say he stepped on a rock when the explosion happened, the New York Daily News reported.
NYPD Deputy Chief John O’Connell said at a press conference that there was “no evidence that (the explosion) was related to terrorism” and that there was “no credible threats against New York.”
Police believe the device was an “experiment” by an “enthusiast” to create a “homemade firework.”
Authorities believe that the fact that the device was placed in an area where people wouldn’t normally step, and the fact that no one else was injured, proved the maker did not intend to harm anyone.
“The explosion could have been an experiment with fireworks or homemade explosives,” O’Connell told reporters. “We believe this could have been put here as some sort of experiment.”
“I got down the hill and boom, my ears were ringing. I felt a wave. A gust hit me in the back,” Golden’s friend Thomas Hinds, 20, told the News.
“I turned around and saw him on the ground with his foot bleeding. It just demolished his foot. His foot was mutilated,” he said.
Golden remained conscious despite the pain, the News reported.
“His foot was gone and he handled it pretty well,” Hinds told the News. “He’s a tough guy. .. . All he said was, ‘Get help.’”
Hinds said he and his friends had no fireworks of their own.
“It seemed like he stepped on something that was pressure-sensitive,” he said.
A high ranking police official told the News that no gun powder was involved but that the device used “rudimentary chemicals.”
“The Bomb Squad is looking into what made it go off, but we may never know,” the source told the News. “It was just bad timing that it went off when this guy landed on it.”
“There were no timers or trips or wires or even shrapnel,” the source added. “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.”
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