On Saturday, a pair of explosions went off in New Jersey and New York City ― first in the morning in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and then in the evening in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. And the twin blasts have raised some obvious questions, chiefest among them whether the New Jersey pipe bomb and the Chelsea explosion are somehow connected.
When it comes to breaking news events like these, often layered in chaos and tragedy, it's important to remember that the earliest reports and bits of information aren't always as accurate or fully-fleshed out as they'll eventually be, given more intensive reporting and investigation over a longer period of time.
That said, however, from the very moment reports starting rolling in of the large explosion in Chelsea, people on social media have been asking the same question ― is it related to the Seaside Park explosion? On Saturday morning, a pipe bomb went off inside a garbage can in the New Jersey borough, notably close to the route of a 5k Marines charity run. Two more pipe bombs didn't go off. According to Reuters, the FDNY has confirmed that the Chelsea blast was caused by an "explosive device."
In the case of Seaside Park, thankfully nobody was injured. This was not the case in Chelsea, however ― the FDNY has confirmed via Twitter that at least 25 civilians were injured in the explosion, although at this time, "none appear to be life-threatening."
The simple reality at this moment is that it's too early to necessarily tell whether these two incidents bear any relationship to one another, although the timing is certainly suggestive. It's also notable that (to this point at least, and hopefully it holds up) nobody has died in either of the incidents. Assuming the FDNY's reports of an "explosive device" in the Chelsea blast are accurate, then it's very fortunate that the bombs in both cases weren't detonated in such a way as to take anyone's life.
You can bet that any possible connections between these two events are going to be investigated, although for now, the top priority is undoubtedly getting to the bottom of what happened in Chelsea. According to the NYPD, the explosion went off on 23rd street, between the city blocks of Sixth and Seventh Avenue. Videos and photos from the scene make it clear that there's still a heavy emergency presence, and the people who were injured in the blast are apparently receiving medical care.