ELIZABETH, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A suspicious device found in a trash can near a New Jersey train station exploded early Monday as a bomb squad was attempting to disarm it with a robot, officials said.
Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said that the device exploded shortly after 12:30 a.m. Monday. The FBI was leading the investigation and working to disarm the other four devices.
“The robots that were going in to disarm it cut a wire and it exploded,” Bollwage told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes. “I don’t know the technological aspect of that. I know there are other devices, but I don’t know what they are made up of but they are going to have to be removed and all the fragments from the other pieces will have to be picked up so the FBI can investigate this fully.”
There were no reports of injuries. Bollwage said to expect more detonations.
Bollwage said the devices werefound in the same bag, which he said was discovered in a trash can by two men Sunday night near the Elizabeth train station on NJ TRANSIT’s Northeast Corridor rail line.
The men had reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of the package, Bollwage said.
NJ TRANSIT service was suspended early Monday, but Noertheast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line service resumed at 5:30 a.m., but the agency says customers should still expect delays.
Rail tickets and passes are being cross-honored by PATH, ferry service, NJT and private carrier buses.
Amtrak Acela Express, Northeast Regional and other services will operate on a modified schedule on Monday after service through the area was suspended Sunday.
Train passengers reported being stuck on trains for hours Sunday night, while some trains moved in reverse to let passengers off at other stations.
Amtrak said 2,400 passengers were affected and that trains were being brought into other stations for people to get other transportation.
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 device exploded 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.
Investigators didn’t immediately comment on whether they thought the Elizabeth incident was connected to either of the two blasts.
Bollwage said that he wasn’t willing to say that Elizabeth had become a target, and that it was possible that someone worried about the authorities was trying to get rid of the package.
“I’m extremely concerned for the residents of the community, but more importantly extremely concerned for everyone in the state and country where someone can just go and drop a backpack into a garbage can that has multiple explosives in it with no timers and then you have to wonder how many people could have been hurt,” Bollwage said.
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