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NYPD: Central Park blast shouldn't scare off Fourth revelers

An explosion in Central Park this weekend that severely injured a Virginia man appears unrelated to terror and should not discourage participation in Independence Day fireworks and other events across the city, authorities stressed Monday.

Detective Ahmed Nasser told USA TODAY that physicians were forced to amputate Connor Golden's left leg below the knee after the 18-year-old college student stepped on a homemade firework or other explosive while rock climbing Sunday.

Nasser reiterated that there were no specific, credible threats directed at the city's celebrations. Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected for a fireworks display set off from barges on the East River on Monday night, and Mayor Bill di Blasio announced plans for stepped-up security. Concerts and parades also are planned across the city.

Details on the type of explosive and the reason it was in the park have not been determined, Nasser said. NYPD Deputy Chief John O’Connell on Sunday declined to even call it an "explosive device," saying it was probably part of an experiment that may have been left in the park prior to Sunday.

“We do not have any evidence of a constructed device or commercial-grade fireworks,” O’Connell said, adding there was no indication it was meant to hurt anyone.

Police K-9 units were dispatched in the area after the blast, but no other explosives were found, police said.

Golden, a student at the University of Miami, was with two friends in Central Park when the blast occurred.

"There was a small explosion and then dust,” Thomas Hinds and Joseph Stabile told reporters. “It was beyond the caliber of fireworks based on what we heard."
The school issued a statement promising "complete support" for the sophomore and his family.
"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," the statement said.

Source :USA today

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