NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A huge cache of fireworks exploded in a Bronx park, breaking windows and generating hundreds of 911 calls in two states Monday night, police said.
The incident occurred in Pelham Bay Park around 11 p.m. and rocked homes from Westchester County in New York to Bergen County in New Jersey.
Police believe several commercial grade fireworks were taped together and tossed in a trash can, which was placed on the pitcher’s mound on a baseball field at Middletown Road and Dwight Place and then set off, CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown reported.
The explosion turned the can into shrapnel, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
Security video obtained exclusively by CBS 2’s Don Champion shows bright flash coming from the baseball field seconds before a security gate shook a half-mile away.
The incident prompted the city to send out a notification to subscribers to its emergency alert system at 12:20 a.m. Tuesday.
“Emergency personnel are investigating reports of a loud noise possibly caused by illegal fireworks in the Pelham Bay Park area of The Bronx,” the alert read. “Expect the presence of emergency vehicles in the area.”
Investigators searched the field all morning for evidence but don’t have any suspects. More than 900 calls were made after the explosion.
No injuries have been reported.
“It sounded like the biggest explosion I ever heard,” Pelham Bay Park resident Denise Driscoll said. “It shook my entire house, knocked picture frames off the walls, knocked things out of my medicine cabinets. There was smoke everywhere. I didn’t know if it was a terrorist attack or an accident on the highway, but it was a very loud explosion.”
Resident Paul Curtain was in his home with his wife and 7-year-old son when the windows blew out.
“Glass all over the house, all over the Christmas tree, all over my son’s toys, all over the couch,” Curtain said.
“The house shook, I saw a bright light, there was smoke all around, it woke me from my bed, knocked pictures off the wall,” Pelham Bay Park resident Bernadette Massa said.
“It was the scariest thing that you could think of,” Pelham Bay Park resident Frankie Villano said. “Nobody could get through to 911.”
“That building is 85 years old, and it shook my building,” Vinny Ritchie told Champion. “All the tenants came out into the hall. We didn’t know what happened.”
Sources tell CBS 2 this is just the latest in a string of fireworks incidents in the area over the past 18 months and all are believed to be connected, Brown reported.
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