A bomb was detonated by a police robot at a New Jersey station on Sunday night as the FBI conducts a manhunt for a suspected terrorist cell behind the Manhattan bomb blast on Saturday night.
Footage from the scene showed the robot accidentally cut the wrong wire on one of five IEDs dumped in a trashcan at the train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey late on Sunday night, resulting in a huge explosion, Dailymail stated.
Hours earlier, the FBI stopped an SUV with five armed men inside on New York’s Verrazano Bridge in connection with Saturday’s Manhattan bomb. They are currently questioning those men, who were believed to be on their way to the airport when they were stopped, but say there could be more suspects at large and a terror cell may exist in the area. Officials have suggested that all or most of the arrested men are from the same family.
It was the second night of suspected terrorism in the New York area, after a bomb exploded in Chelsea hurting 29 people and a second device was found and defused on Saturday night. A military fun run was also pipe bombed in New Jersey on Saturday.
Officers at Elizabeth train station were startled by the huge bang that erupted without warning just before 1am on Monday morning when the bomb squad robot cut the wrong wire on one of five devices, causing it to explode.
Authorities said the loss of life “could have been enormous” with the device discovered at a spot where, just hours later, thousands of passengers would ordinarily be gathering for their morning commute.
While there was no immediate sign of damage to the station, authorities warned the public there may be more detonations through the night as they attempt to diffuse the remaining IED’s.
Authorities raised the frightening possibility that an active terror cell was currently in the midst of unleashing attacks across New Jersey and New York and around 9.30pm when two men discovered up to five suspect packages in the trash and alerted the police.
“This was an explosive device’ containing as many as five devices, said Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage. “Based on the loudness, I think people could have been seriously hurt’.
“I can imagine that if all five of them went off at the same time, that the loss of life could have been enormous if there was an event going on,” he added.
Earlier in New York City, the FBI called the NYPD for backup at around 8.45pm after making the decision to halt a “vehicle of interest” on the busy Belt Parkway and found the occupants were heavily armed.
According to The Associated Press, the five were taken to an FBI building in lower Manhattan to be questioned. The FBI has admitted they are looking for additional suspects.
Authorities identified a person of interest in the Chelsea attack using surveillance footage, but it is not clear if he was among the five brought in for questioning.