By: Aaron Krick ~Staff Writer~
New York City was in a panic the night of Sept. 17 when an explosion rocked the Chelsea area in Manhattan. An improvised explosive device (IED) believed to be hidden in a trashcan on 23rd Street reportedly caused the explosion.
This detonation occurred hours after the explosion of a pipe bomb at a charity run in New Jersey. The attack left 31 injured and sent the city into high alert. During the police investigation, a second device was discovered in a 27th Street trashcan and was disarmed at a remote location before any further damage could be done.
“We have every reason to believe this was an act of terror,” New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio told the press.
Sophomore Aiden Dalton was in Manhattan with his family at the time of the attack.
“When the Chelsea explosion went off, I was in a Broadway theatre seeing Kinky Boots with my family,” Dalton said. “We found out during intermission when everyone turned their phones on. I think a lot of people were afraid, and a lot of people thought it was a dumb prank that went wrong. We made it back to our hotel room fine, only to find out that not far away from our Hotel they found a pipe bomb. It didn’t go off, but it was rigged with a cellphone strapped to it. It seemed like everywhere we would be going they would find a bomb.”
People were divided in their response, to the incident. Some offered support, yet to others, the bombing became fodder for political jeering and campaign material.
“A lot of people on Twitter that were in the city seemed to be so against any kind of reaction other than making fun of it,” Dalton said. “When the candidates released statements on it that night, someone commented ‘When a literal dumpster fire enters the political conversation.”
“I’m not sure what to think of it. I’m just glad nobody was killed and that so few people got hurt, when we know it could have been much worse.”
Progress has been made in the investigation.
According to CNN, New Jersey local Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, was arrested following a shootout with the police on Sept. 19. His fingerprints were found at the scene and his cellphone connected him to the bombings.
Harinden Bains, owner of Merdie’s Tavern in Linden, N.J., said he spotted Rahami sleeping in the doorway of his bar on the morning of Sept. 19, and recognized his picture from the news.
Rahami is believed to be connected to both the Manhattan and New Jersey explosions. Rahami’s wife was in Pakistan during the bombings and did not come back until two days after his arrest. She will also be questioned by the police in an attempt to find out when he was radicalized.