Tourist hurt by apparent homemade fireworks in New York’s Central Park

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Photos of n Injured man showed his left foot bandaged and badly mangled as he was being treated by emergency medical technicians on the scene

A 19-year-old tourist in Manhattan's Central Park suffered a severe foot wound on Sunday after an apparent homemade firework exploded when he jumped off a rock and stepped on the device, authorities said.

Police said there was no reason to suspect that the blast, on the eve of Fourth of July celebrations, was the work of extremists or that the explosive object had been designed to hurt anyone. Investigators said the object was likely fabricated by an amateur fireworks enthusiast for the thrill of creating a loud noise and flash. At least one bystander in the park toldCNN the blast sounded "like a cannon."

 Photographs of the injured man, who police said was visiting from Virginia with two friends, showed his left foot bandaged and badly mangled as he was being treated by emergency medical technicians on the scene. The man was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where police said he was undergoing surgery and was listed in serious but stable condition. His two companions, aged 18 and 20, were not injured. None was believed to have had anything to do with making the device.

The late-morning explosion occurred when all three men jumped off a rock and the victim landed on top of the object, which had been stashed near the boulder out of the way of normal foot traffic, police said. "At this time, we have no evidence this is related to terrorism," NYPD Deputy Chief John O'Connell told reporters in the park, adding there were "no specific credible threats directed at New York or the July Fourth celebrations."

Lieutenant Mark Torre, commander of the police bomb squad, said there was nothing to indicate the device was "put in this area with a specific intent to harm any individual" and that evidence showed it was not designed to go off by someone stepping on it. The sprawling, 778-acre park in the heart of Manhattan is a major draw for tourists visiting New York City. The park remained open to visitors following the blast.

 

 

 

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