Sunday, September 18, 2016

Suspicious package containing 'wires and a pipe' detonated at New Jersey train station


ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) — Investigators examined a suspicious device found Sunday night in a trash can near a New Jersey train station, and service on the busy Northeast Corridor line was suspended.

Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said two men found the package at about 9:30 p.m. Sunday and took it “because they thought it was of some value.” The men called police after reportedly seeing wires and a pipe coming out of the package.

The Union County bomb squad was called in and a robotic device was used to inspect the package, which was found to contain five devices. The drone indicated that the package could contain a “live bomb,” Bollwage said at a press conference. 

One of the devices in the package detonated early Monday morning while the bomb squad’s robot was attempting to defuse the device. Media reported hearing a loud explosion and smelling gunpowder at the scene.

The FBI was leading the investigation and working to disarm the other four devices.

There was no immediate report of injuries or damage. A message left with the FBI wasn’t immediately returned.

The discovery of the suspicious package comes a day after an explosion in Manhattan injured 29 people, and an unexploded pressure-cooker device was found four blocks away. Also Saturday, a pipe bomb exploded about an hour from the Elizabeth train station in Seaside Park, New Jersey, forcing the cancellation of a military charity 5K run. Officials said it didn’t appear that those two incidents were connected, though they weren’t ruling anything out.

New Jersey Transit says service has been suspended between Newark Liberty Airport and Elizabeth. New York’s emergency management department says that New Jersey-bound Amtrak trains are being held at New York Penn Station.

Riders reported being stuck on Amtrak and NJ Transit trains for hours Sunday night, while some trains moved in reverse to let passengers off at other stations.

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