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No evidence of terror attack, cause of blast under investigation: New York City mayor

(Xinhua)    13:15, September 18, 2016
No evidence of terror attack, cause of blast under investigation: New York City mayor
The photo taken on Sept. 17, 2016 shows policemen on duty near the site of an explosion in New York, the United States. A total of 25 people have been injured in an explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on Saturday evening, and the cause of the blast is under investigation, the New York City Fire Department said. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said Saturday that there is "no evidence at this point of a terror connection" to an explosionin New York Saturday evening, in which twenty-nine people were injured.

The mayor made the remarks at a news conference Saturday night, saying the real cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

"Early indications are that this was an intentional act," the mayor said, adding that "There is no specific and credible threat against New York City at this point in time from any terror organization."

Twenty-nine people were injured in the explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood in New York on Saturday evening.

Low Enforcement sources have reportedly said they found a device that appeared to be pressure cooker near the explosion site.

Ma Chao, consular of Consulate General of the People' s Republic of China in New York, told Xinhua that there has been no report of injuries of Chinese citizens so far.

The Consulate General made a statement following the blast, saying they have made contact with the New York Police Department and will following the case closely.

"We are ready to provide assistance and protection for Chinese citizens when needed", said the statement.

Meanwhile, Hotel Chinese Association of USA, Inc, a non-profit organization based in New York, said in a statement following the explosion, adding that "every member should obey the city government's well-known saying 'See something say something' .

In order to ensure safety in hotels, anyone who sees a suspicious subject or activity in a hotel should report to supervisors or security guards, according to the statement.

The incident occurred just three days before the opening of 71st Session of the UN General Assembly in the UN Headquarters in New York. The host city of the world body is already on high alert to guarantee the security of visiting heads of state or government.

Right opposite to the UN Headquarters on Manhattan's 1st Avenue, four police officers on duty told Xinhua that they have been in position since 4 p.m. Saturday. But they said that they didn't get any special alert or instructions following the Chelsea blast.

Donald Trump, Republican presidential nominee gave a speech in Colorado about 30 minutes after the blast.

"Just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what's going on," Trump said.

"We've got to get very tough," Trump said. "It's a terrible thing what's going on in our world, what's going on in our country, but we are going to get tough and smart and vigilant and we are going to end it."

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said she has been briefed "about the bombings in New York and New Jersey and the attack in Minnesota."

She said the nation needs to support its first responders and "pray for the victims."

"We have to let this investigation unfold," she said.

The White House said President Barack Obama has been briefed on the explosion in New York City and will be updated as additional information becomes available.

Apir Chaudhury, a sales associate working on a night shift at a 7-11 convenience store on 5th avenue, said that he didn't hear the explosion, but around 9 p.m., police closed up the roads and started to check everything. The young man looked undisturbed by the incident at all, saying "Now I just wanna go home and sleep".

After living in this city for six years, you don't get scared by such things", a female cashier in the store added.

Officer Bressack with the NYPD's Strategic Response Group told Xinhua that he and his colleagues were called in for duty shortly after the blast occurred, and rushed all the way from Queensboro to the scene.

There could be all kinds of causes for the explosion, and people have to wait for the investigation results. "I have seen so many of this, and I can only say this was not the first and won't be the last," said the police veteran who had served for 22 years.

New York City Police Department issued an updated statement, saying "As a precautionary measure, we are asking residents who live on West 27th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Manhattan to stay away from windows facing 27th Street until we clear the area of a suspicious package. This is a precautionary measure only, we are not evacuating the area".


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Zhang Tianrui, Bianji)

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