After an explosion rocked the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan Saturday evening, by late Sunday morning most streets in the area were reopened to traffic and major retailers had opened as usual.
“We are taking all the necessary precautions in all of our New York City stores. The safety and security of our associates and customers are our number-one priority,” said a spokesman for the Hudson Bay Co., which operates the Lord & Taylor store on Fifth Avenue and 38th Street not far from where the explosion occurred on 23rd Street by Sixth Avenue. HBC also operates Saks Fifth Avenue, which has its flagship on Fifth Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets. Both stores were open on time at 11 a.m.
Macy’s on Herald Square also opened at the usual 11 a.m hour on Sunday. Barneys New York on Seventh Avenue and 17th Street also opened on time. “As we do everyday,we will have full security coverage to ensure the safety of employees and customers,” said a Macy’s spokeswoman.
At the Fashion Institute of Technology a security official said the school was open.
A pressure cooker discovered Saturday evening on 27th Street near Seventh Avenue, right down the block from FIT, was being investigated as well, as a possible suspicious device.
There were no fatalities reported from the blast but 29 people were injured. According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, all 29 were released from the hospital.
Some streets in Chelsea were still closed late Sunday morning with the investigation ongoing, including 23rd Street between Fifth and Eighth Avenues and Sixth Avenue from 23rd to 27th Streets. Also certain buses and subways on the west side were being rerouted.
“We are really lucky there were no fatalities,” Cuomo said at a news conference in Chelsea. “There was significant property damage.”
He said there was much glass and debris along 23rd Street, indicating that the explosion was powerful. People in the area at the time of the explosion were struck by the flying glass and debris.
The governor said the MTA was ready to return to full service Monday morning.
He also said there would be 1,000 state policemen and national guardsman deployed for extra security.
Referring to whoever planted the bombs, Cuomo said, “We won’t allow these types of people disrupt our lives in New York. This is freedom. This is democracy.”
Government officials said there were no links to international terrorism and that there were no apparent connections between the incidents in Chelsea and those in Seaside Park, N.J., where a pipe bomb in a trash receptacle exploded and two other devices were discovered. They stressed that the investigations were still in their early stages.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference Saturday night that “this was an intentional act,” but he also said there was “no evidence of a terror connection at this point.”
The explosion in Chelsea occurred at 8:40 p.m. Saturday.
People were not evacuated from the area. Officials told the public to stay inside and away from windows.
Investigators have surveillance videos of the explosion, which could be critical in determining suspects and the nature of the explosive device. Authorities ruled out the possibility of a gas explosion.
Also on Saturday night, in a perceived act of terror, a man at a St. Cloud, Minn., mall went on a rampage, stabbing nine people. An off-duty officer shot the suspect dead. None of the nine stabbed were fatally wounded. ISIS claimed that the stabber was a soldier of the Islamic State, but officials did not draw any direct connections between the incidents in the mall and in Seaside Park and Chelsea.