MANHATTAN — Police officials believe a homemade firework likely caused a blast in New York City’s Central Park that seriously injured a man who stepped on it.
The commanding officer of the New York Police Department’s bomb squad tells reporters Sunday there’s no indication it was made to harm people.
Mark Torre likened the explosive to an experiment that an enthusiast with a rudimentary understanding of chemistry could build from household materials.
It was shortly before 11 a.m. when authorities received a call about a possible explosion in the park, at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street, FDNY said.
Three tourists — ages 18, 18 and 20 — were walking in the iconic greenspace when they stumbled upon a package or device. When one of the 18-year-olds stepped on the object, it exploded, police said.
That teen lost his foot in the blast and was taken to a hospital, police said. No other injuries were reported.
Investigators don’t believe the injured 19-year-old or his friends took part in constructing the explosive. They’re asking anyone with information to come forward.
Officials say the injured man is undergoing surgery on his left foot at a hospital. He’s in stable condition.
They say police dogs are canvassing the park for possible explosives.
The holiday weekend undoubtedly drew crowds to the park and the blast happening during an especially busy time. Dozens of witnesses reported hearing a loud boom near the scene.