NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBSMiami/AP) — A college student from the University of Miami suffered a serious injury to his left foot in Central Park on Sunday, police said.
Friends of Connor Golden, 18, told authorities he stepped on something that exploded, according to the New York Post.
Police officials later said it was a homemade firework.
“(The explosion) could have been an experiment or homemade explosives,” said NYPD Deputy Chief John O’Connell. “We do not have any evidence of a constructed device or commercial-grade fireworks. We believe this could have been put here as some sort of experiment.”
The commanding officer of the New York Police Department’s bomb squad likened the explosive to something that an enthusiast with a rudimentary understanding of chemistry could build from household materials.
“This is clearly explosive material,” said Lt. Mark Torrey. “But there’s nothing to indicate that this was an explosive device that was placed or put in this area with a specific intent to harm any individuals.”
Investigators don’t believe the injured victim or his friends took part in constructing the explosive.
“We don’t know what happened,” said Thomas Hinds, one of the victim’s friends, still shaken up. “There was a small explosion and then dust.”
“Beyond the caliber of fireworks, just based on what we heard,” said Matthew Stabile, another friend. “We think he stepped on something.”
People in the area said an explosion was heard blocks away.
“It sounded like a cannon,” Sara Gordon told the Daily News. “I thought it was a Fourth of July thing.”
The Fire Department said Golden sustained a major injury, possibly an amputation, and was taken to a hospital. There was no immediate word on his condition.
He “was severely injured. His left leg was severely damaged, all bone and muscle,” said John Murphy, visiting the city from Connecticut. He said he stayed at the scene with Golden until emergency responders arrived.
“There was a divot in the ground,” said an eyewitness. “There was actually, it looks like, a divot where there was an explosion.”
The NYPD’s bomb squad and police closed off a section of the park as they investigate the circumstances of the blast.
The University of Miami later issued a statement regarding the injury:
“The University of Miami’s thoughts and prayers are with Connor Golden as he recovers from this horrific accident that took place in Central Park Sunday morning. We will provide Connor and his family with complete support through his recovery and rehabilitation.”
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