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Investigation And Press Conference Regarding Explosion In Chelsea, New York; 29 Injured in Manhattan Explosion; Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired September 17, 2016 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: We have learned, though, that none of those injuries are life- threatening. Investigators believe what exploded may have been -- and I want to emphasize -- may have been an IED, an improvised explosive device.
[23:00:05] But again, this is early going, early reporting. Some device went off inside or near a dumpster ...
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Right.
HARLOW: As of right now the New York police department has increased security all across the city.
LEMON: Yeah. And that's just as a precaution of course. You can't be too careful in these particular situations. And that's what the NYPD and other emergency officials here are used to dealing with. Just as a precaution they say, not in response to any specific threats.
And again as we look at the screen there, the biggest screen there on the right, that is -- those are the cameras and microphones getting ready for officials to step up to those microphones for a press conference. Which we believe will be led by the NYPD, the New York City Police Department, and its newly minted Police Commissioner, Jimmy O'Neil. The M, Bill de Blasio is on the scene as well. As well as several city leaders, the Manhattan Borough President, and also Corey Johnson who is a Councilman in that area and others.
Also there are fears now that there could be other explosive devices in the area. The bomb squad is there, bomb sniffing dogs are being used to check out this neighborhood. We saw them earlier in video, roaming the streets, officers with dogs.
HARLOW: And you know, Don, as we await this press conference, I was just thinking about the fact that this will be the first time that the city and the world really hears publicly from the new Police Commissioner, James O'Neil, right? Bill Bratton effectively stepping down yesterday, and now this will be the first time -- quite a first day on the job.
LEMON: But again, he has been with the New York City Police Department for quite sometime. I mean one of the reasons he was picked, he was hand-picked actually by New York City -- the outgoing New York City Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton. So he is very equipped to deal with this and he will be leading this press conference, it is believed -- no doubt that it will be him. And also again, the Mayor, I'm sure will also offer his sort of
support for the city. And tell them that they have the situation in hand.
Now I -- again, this is our preliminary investigation. I'm sure that they're working on this behind the scenes, obviously. And that's what's taking a while for the Police Commissioner, and for everyone, to be briefed. When they step in front of these microphones they want to ...
LEMON: Be absolutely clear about what is going on.
HARLOW: I want to bring in, again, Shimon Prokupecz, he's our CNN Crime and Justice Producer. And there is no one better sourced with law enforcement. So Shimon, let's just be really clear here on what we know. Because these preliminary reports in to CNN, in to you and our team are saying, IED, improvised explosive device. You're now hearing that they are looking at other possibilities for something that could've exploded, is that right?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE PRODUCER: Yeah, that's right, Poppy. So this could've been something that could've occurred from a construction site that -- there's construction, apparently, down the block from where this explosion occurred, or somewhere near there.
And I spoke to a source a short time ago who said that they were looking at something maybe from the construction site that may have caused this. What specifically that is, I don't know. I, you know, I don't know what the police will obviously say when they come out and have this press conference, but I would be kind of surprised if they came out and told us what they thought the cause was.
I think they're going to try to bring down the fear and make sure people know that everyone is safe, and that the city is safe. But I just don't know that they even really can rule anything in or out right now. And I think that's what's going on right now, that's what they're continuing to do. You know, perhaps they have found something that's going to say, "you know, hey, this is what's caused it," which would be great. But I don't know that they're going to be able to do that right now.
You know, so, law enforcement all across New York City -- I can tell you, the FBI, the NYPD, everyone has come in. All of the high-ranking people at the Joint Terrorism Task Force are working. All of the high-ranking people at the NYPD are working. You know, from the Counterterrorism units. Everyone is working and trying to figure out what's going on.
And no doubt they're trying to run down leads. Let's say if this does turn out to be something with terrorists, they're going to run down leads. They're looking at video cameras now, they're looking at areas, sort of all these stores on this block. You know, all these stores have video -- you know, surveillance cameras. So they're going through that to see if anyone walked by this before it exploded. Or if anyone put something there before the explosion occurred.
So that's what's going on now. And we'll see what they have to say. But I can tell you there're so many possibilities right now that nothing has been ruled in or out. And so that's what they're trying to figure out. Still trying to figure out what happened here.
LEMON: I think it's very smart because it's -- we don't know it -- what it is ...
LEMON: And what it could -- because if there's construction in the area, it could've been caused by that. We don't know exactly what it is. They did say though, that they ruled out a gas ...
LEMON: ... explosion.
LEMON: So we know that it wasn't that ...
HARLOW: Because that happened -- I mean I remember a few years ago, covering a major gas explosion ...
HARLOW: ... and it took down part of a building up in the Northern part of Manhattan ...
LEMON: And then there's also in Philadelphia ...
LEMON: ... took down that building ...
LEMON: ... in Philadelphia, back in 2013.
HARLOW: But Don, this does come on the same day as that pipe bomb was found in New Jersey ...
LEMON: New Jersey, right.
HARLOW: In seaside park. Again, no connection being made. But as Tom Fuentes was saying, you know the fact that these two were found on the same day has heightened awareness and alert over this.
LEMON: And has, of course, if it happened in New Jersey, which is not far from here ...
HARLOW: Right. LEMON: ... one would have to wonder what's going on. There's no
doubt about that. That don't know, we don't know if it is connected at all. But of course we have to ask our intelligence and our security experts. Let's get to someone who is on the -- an eyewitness who's on the phone now. His name is Ryan MacMillan (ph). Ryan, where are you, what did you see, what did you hear?
VOICE OF RYAN MACMILLAN (ph), EYEWITNESS: Hi, how are you. I was on the corner of 23rd and Sixth with my wife and two daughters. And we were just about to get onto the subway. And there was just a -- we were just sort of loitering, trying to figure out whether we should go on the subway or have my daughter go to the bathroom. And there was a huge explosion.
And I saw the back window of an SUV pop out, like all the glass went into the street. And my wife and I just looked at each other and we just ran up Sixth Avenue. But none of us were like, knocked to the ground or, none of us were -- you know, I mean it was obviously very shocking but it wasn't -- it didn't feel like -- you know, there were no fires or anything like that. It just started with a huge noise and we could sort of feel the blast. But we were -- it was mostly just shock. And we just ran and people were screaming and running up the block ...
VOICE OF MACMILLAN (ph): It was definitely shocking.
HARLOW: Yeah, shocking and unnerving, no question. Thank you so much for your account of what happened. And stay with us, I do want to get to our CNN correspondent on the scene. Jean Casarez who's been there from, really the moment after this happened. Jean, we're awaiting the press conference with New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio. And also the Head of the New York City Police Department, James O'Neil.
Are you hearing anything from law enforcement on the ground there -- as it's now been about two hours since this explosion occurred -- on what they believe may have caused it, and what they're saying at this hour?
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well what we're hearing right now is that this press conference is going to start at any moment. So we're right here on 23rd Street, which is the street where this explosion took place. We are a little beyond Fifth Avenue, between Fifth and Sixth Avenue.
And we are just waiting for this press conference to begin. Police are saying nothing right now, so I don't think anyone knows exactly what is going to be said. But I will tell you that there are many civilians here. We were allowed in a little farther along 23rd Street because we are press. But there are many, many people on the street corners here waiting and wondering exactly what is going to be said.
Also the emergency vehicles have gone nowhere. They are still here, they are still here in force, their lights are still on. We are still hearing helicopters above us. Everyone just seems to be prepared for anything at this point. But officers have come up to check microphones and we do believe that this presser will be minutes away. HARLOW: And Jean, on the left side of our screen here as you and we await the press conference, we're seeing these new aerial images in to us. These are live aerial images from our affiliate, WCBS, of some of these emergency response vehicles. Jean, in terms of the extent of the injuries, Rachel Crane at Bellevue Hospital, had been reporting a number of emergency vehicles there. But no word on the condition of the patients or the extent of the injuries.
What we've been told previously is 25 injured, most of them minor injuries, non life-threatening. Do you have any more detail on the victims?
CASAREZ: I think officially, from the Fire Department of New York City -- and let me tell you there are fire trucks all over this area. It stretched equals (ph) block after block. But they have officially tweeted out that there are 25 injuries. Of course that can increase but that is what's been said officially. They do not believe there are any fatalities, of course this is a working situation right now.
But we do know that with the Counterterrorism units here, I saw dogs going from building to building and not on 23rd Street, but on the streets surrounding 23rd Street, in the Chelsea area. But I think officially now, Poppy, it is 25, probably empty (ph).
LEMON: OK Jean, I want you to stand by. And again, I just want to update our viewers, Don Lemon here, Poppy Harlow here as well. Poppy is a -- go ahead Poppy.
HARLOW: We're just seeing this in from the NYPD Chief of Special Operations Division, that a possible second device has been located. Again, a possible second device has been located ...
LEMON: And that's what we want to get to, Evan Perez. Evan you are getting this information as well. What can you -- what do you know about the second device?
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Don, that's right. At this point, the authorities there in New York are looking at a possible -- again a very, still preliminary information here -- a possible device down on 27th Street.
Now we're seeing this a lot this afternoon, after what happened in Seaside Park, New Jersey, there's a lot of concern about possible copycats. Or perhaps, since the person who was behind the New Jersey bomb that was found has not been arrested or detained yet, there is concern that that person could be at large and trying to do other things.
So what we're getting is a lot of reports now from, frankly up and down the East Coast. There was a something of a report of a possible explosion in Charlottesville, which turned out to luckily be just a transformer that went bad. Virginia, the local power supplier there in Virginia, in Charlottesville, Virginia, reported that. So that calmed the fears in that area.
In New York we're getting a lot of these calls of suspicious devices. So at this point we know that the authorities are taking all of this very, very seriously. As you know, when you have something like this, you have to be on guard for possible copycats. But again, the preliminary word is that they're investigating a possible second device found ...
HARLOW: So ...
PEREZ: ... just a few blocks away, there on 27th Street. And now we're working to try to get some more from the NYPD and other authorities in New York.
HARLOW: So Evan, I wonder, this tweet coming to -- coming out from the NYPD Chief of Special Ops Division saying there may be this possible secondary device at 27th and Sixth -- between Sixth and Seventh Avenue, which is just four blocks away -- what would it take for them to put this out publicly? Or is this their way of saying, "we don't know but this would," they would hope keep people away from that area while they investigate.
PEREZ: Right, I think that's -- I think you hit it right there, Poppy. I think that's what it is, is trying to make sure people are aware. And frankly, just stay away from the area as much as possible to give the authorities the time to try to figure this out. And look, I mean there's a lot of people on the streets on a Saturday night in Manhattan.
So there already were reports being sent out on Twitter and social media. So the authorities there are under pressure to make sure that they put something out to at least let people know what they're dealing with. That they're aware of this, they're going to figure it out, and they're going to provide more information when they have it.
But at this point all we know is that they're looking into this possibility of a second device there on 27th and Sixth, just a few blocks away from the scene of that first explosion. As Shimon has been pointing out, and as you guys have noted, we're still dealing with a lot of preliminary information. We're waiting for the NYPD to provide the official word here.
But what we're -- we know is simply that there was an explosion either in or near this dumpster. The initial suspicion is that it was possibly an IED. But obviously that is still work being done to try to figure that out. That, as Shimon has repeatedly pointed out that this is a construction site, there's a lot of possible other things that could've, that could explain what happened here. And that's why these guys are trying to work the scene tonight.
LEMON: OK I want to get to -- stand by please, Evan -- I want to bring in Errol Lewis here. Because there's -- what's interesting is that as we were -- you and I were on the air and the President and the Secretary of State were giving their speeches -- Secretary of State getting an award from the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump in Colorado Springs, they have all been updated on the situation. The President and both Presidential candidates.
Donald Trump saying to a crowd in Colorado Springs, saying that, to his supporters that a bomb went off in the city. And then going on saying, you know, just before I got off the plane a bomb went off in New York City and nobody knows exactly what's going on. And then he says we have to get tough, folks.
Now he's doing that before officials have figured out exactly what's going on. They haven't determined what caused this. One wonders if, as the Commander in Chief, saying that it was a bomb -- it could very well be, but we don't know -- how would he act as a President of the United States if he's giving this information before there's even confirmation of it?
ERROL LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But it's a source of great concern. When he says we've got to get tough, the implication is the armed forces or the United States is under attack from some foreign source. As opposed to, it could be anything. It could be a jilted lover, it could be a property dispute. It could be literally anything. And ...
HARLOW: It could also be, as Shimon said, just a construction tool box explosion.
LEWIS: It could -- right, it could be an accident. It could be something that was a plan for redemption (ph) ...
LEMON: But he also in that slamming (ph) -- because the former, the former Secretary, Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, of course slammed him in an editorial. Also had some criticism for Hillary Clinton, but it was very harsh on Donald Trump. And he's saying on Saturday in an editorial, he said probably that Secretary Gates probably has a problem that we don't know about. You know, making that comment about the former Secretary.
And the comment about an explosion in New York City and not knowing exactly what's going on.
LEWIS: Sure. I mean look, everybody will have to make up their own mind about it. This is the beauty of a democracy. But here in New York where we've been through so much, so often, and we know, I think, the poison that can be spread by fear, uncertainty, rumor, false accusations. There's really no room for any of that stuff.
And I think we're going to see, from the local officials, certainly the NYPD and the Mayor, the right way to talk to people. The right way to talk to millions of people -- there are over 8 million people here in the city. The right way to talk to millions of people in a situation like this. Where we have a lot of different things going on at the same time. Concern for those who were injured, questions about whether or not the danger is really behind us.
LEWIS: What people should do. Lesser questions about how to get around.
HARLOW: Errol stand ...
LEMON: Always proceed with caution.
HARLOW: ... Exactly. Errol, stand by, Richard Quest, our CNN's Richard Quest joining me on the scene of where police have located a potential, a potential secondary device, at 27th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenue. Richard, what are the authorities saying there?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND REPORTER: OK I'm at 28th Street and Seventh Avenue. The perimeter is being increased quite considerably. Many more barriers are now being put into place. So I'm a block away or so from where this potential secondary device is. And in fact, the police are, the police are telling us to clear the block. And as they do so, they were saying earlier, that they were doing so for our own safety.
So we're now being moved, bearing in mind the first device is on 23rd and Sixth. Well now we are up at 28th, five blocks North and two blocks, two long blocks West. And they are still moving us further back. Poppy, from what I can see ...
HARLOW: Richard ...
QUEST: Yes, go ahead?
HARLOW: All right, Richard, are they tell -- and we're being told we're two minutes away from this NYPD press conference beginning, we'll bring it to you live as soon as it happens. But in the meantime, Richard, are the authorities telling you why they are asking everyone to back off so much?
QUEST: No, other than to say, "it's for your own safety." And there is a sort of urgency about the way they're doing it. They've suddenly brought in some very large trucks, some covered trucks. Which are -- frankly I have no idea what's underneath the tarp awnings (ph). But quite a lot of extra equipment has been brought down Seventh Avenue, and is now staging.
HARLOW: OK ...
QUEST: ... There are also more NYPD officers at various staging points on Seventh Avenue. So it does appear, Poppy, quite clearly that there is a focus besides the focus of attention on 23rd Street. There is now most definitely a focus of attention five blocks North ...
HARLOW: OK ...
QUEST: Four or five blocks North.
HARLOW: And just so our viewers know, Don, the images that they are seeing on the screen are not what Richard is describing. QUEST: No.
HARLOW: They're looking at the 23rd Street scene where that first explosion was. We are not seeing yet what Richard is describing.
QUEST: Yeah. And just again, just out of precaution again, this is all preliminary. We don't know exactly what happened, we don't know. We do know that there was an explosion of some type. According to official people here in the city, they're saying they -- the one thing that they can rule out, and this is according to them, is a gas explosion.
But they have not ruled out anything else. There have been some, you know, reports that there could possibly be other devices. We don't know that yet, as is -- as Errol has said here, and as we will say as much as we can. It's possible it is -- we need to proceed with as much caution as possible until officials step up to that microphone and tell us exactly what it is we don't know.
The President of the United States ...
HARLOW: All right ...
LEMON: ... is, as you see ...
HARLOW: has been briefed.
LEMON: ... as you see the -- it's just going to be a while before they get there.
LEMON: The President of the United States has been briefed. Also both presidential candidates have been briefed. It's also important to point out the President is due here in New York City for a fundraiser tomorrow night. So they're worried about security ...
HARLOW: And ...
LEMON: Poppy, the people who are going to speak, as you can see -- just a minute I'll let you get in here --
LEMON: ... The Mayor, Mayor de Blasio, who you see in the center of your screen, the tall gentleman there. And also the Commissioner, James O'Neil and other NYPD leadership will speak as well.
HARLOW: And as you've noted earlier Don, this is the first official day on the job for the new Head of the NYPD, James O'Neil. And this kicks off, not only the President will be here tomorrow, but a big week. The UN General Assembly begins this week with world leaders from truly across the globe, descending on New York City.
LEMON: And there they are about to step up to the microphones. And again, this will be the official word as to what they know right now. And if there are officially two scenes.
LEMON: One at 28th -- or 27th -- and one at 23rd. And that is Mayor Bill de Blasio.
BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: I want to go over a couple of key points and then you're going to hear from NYPD Commissioner, James O'Neil, Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro. And we'll be joined momentarily by FBI Assistant Director, Bill Sweeney, who will be available for questions.
Tonight New York City experienced a very serious incident. All elements of our first responders have been a part of the operation here; NYPD, FDNY, Office of Emergency Management, obviously our federal partners, FBI and others, working with us. So all hands are on deck.
Injuries are significant, you'll hear from Commissioner Nigro on the details of the injuries. But at this point we can confirm that none of those injured are likely to die. We also want to be upfront saying that there is no evidence at this point of a terror connection to this incident. This is preliminary information, it's something we will be investigating very carefully. But there is no evidence at this point of a terror connection.
I also want to affirm that based on what we know at this hour, there is no specific connection to the incident in New Jersey. It's again, too early to say anything definitive on those questions, but there's no specific evidence of a connection at this point.
I want to say more broadly that there is no specific, and credible threat against New York City at this point in time, from any terror organization. So as we are analyzing what happened here, we are doing it against the backdrop that we have no credible and specific threat at this moment.
But we do want to be very clear. The early indications, the initial indications is this was an intentional act. We're going to have a lot more to say in the coming hours as we have more detailed analysis. But we believe at this point in time, this was an intentional act.
I want to assure all New Yorkers that the NYPD and all other agencies are at full alert, and that our anti-terror capacity, in particular, is at full alert. Our Critical Response Command, and our other key units; our Strategic Response Group, our Emergency Services Unit, all are on alert and all are dealing with this situation. And being vigilant all over the city at this point in time.
And we have in this city, the most advanced anti-terror capacity of any city in this country. And obviously the largest police force of any city in the country, all ready to ensure our safety. Now I want to be clear, whatever the cause, whatever the intentions here, New Yorkers will not be intimidated. We are not going to let anyone change who we are or how we go about our lives. We have the best police force in the country. And a number of other key agencies; FDNY, OEM, etcetera, making sure we will be safe.
We are at this point, of course, tracing every lead and every potential. It's too early to give you any details of the investigation because it has just begun over the last few hours. But I want to say upfront, we're not going to go into a lot of detail about what we're finding so far in investigation. That will take, certainly, more hours before we can give you more.
But we do want to urge all New Yorkers, anyone who may have information related to this incident, anyone who is an eyewitness, anyone who may have video, the NYPD needs that. Please reach out immediately if you have any information that we can use. Call 1-800- 577-TIPS. 1-800-577-TIPS if you have any pertinent information.
Finally, a second site, as we speak, is being treated by the NYPD. It is 27th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. There is an investigation underway and a substantial NYPD presence on that street. And that street has been cleared as this investigation continues.
With that, I want to turn it over to Commissioner James O'Neil.
JAMES O'NEILL, NEW YORK CITY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Thank you Mister Mayor. At approximately -- at approximately 8:30 this evening, officers from the Tenth Precinct were on patrol driving Westbound on West 23rd Street when they witnessed a large explosion in front of 131 West 23rd Street.
The officers immediately called for additional units and ambulances. The NYPD Bomb Squad and the FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force were requested to respond. As of this time, the exact cause of the explosion has not been determined. Investigation into this incident is active and at this time, an extensive search is being conducted. Mister Mayor spoke (ph), it's an ongoing situation on 27th Street right now.
The area around the explosion site is being treated as a crime scene. As of this time, there is no evidence to indicate that this explosion is a result of any natural gas cause. Again, the exact nature and cause of this explosion has not yet been determined.
As of the most recent information, there have been 29 injuries reported. One of these injuries may be considered serious. Commissioner Nigro will talk about that in a couple of minutes. The Fire Department is currently assessing the extent of any possible structural damage resulting from this explosion. And as further information is developed, we will provide it and give you updates.
DANIEL NIGRO, NEW YORK CITY FIRE COMMISSIONER: Our units heard this, actually, from their locations and joined the NYPD members on the scene, searched the buildings that were affected. And as Commissioner O'Neil said, there were 29 injuries here, one considered serious. 24 of these people have been transported to area hospitals with various degrees of scrapes, abrasions from glass, from metal.
Thankfully, none of these are life-threatening injuries. And the 24 patients that have been removed are not in a serious condition, other than the one patient with a puncture wound.
DE BLASIO: Thank you very much, Commissioner. OK we will take your questions now.
REPORTER: Was there a bomb in a dumpster, Mister Mayor?
DE BLASIO: Again, it's too early to determine specifically what the incident was caused by. What we're telling you this evening is we believe it was intentional. A full investigation is underway. As soon as we're able to determine what specifically caused this explosion, we're going to report that to you.
REPORTER: You said that you don't believe it was (inaudible) ...
DE BLASIO: Very broad, and I'm going to stay broad on that point. And Commissioner O'Neil will jump in at any point (ph). Because we have no credible and specific threat, because there is nothing specifically linking what we've seen so far of this site to anything that suggests terrorism. But it's preliminary information. We just want to assure (ph) New Yorkers, based on what we know at this moment, we do not see a link to terrorism. There will be an ongoing investigation.
REPORTER: Sir, do we see any connection with the timing of this incident and the timing of the United Nations (inaudible) ...
DE BLASIO: It's too early to say.
NIGRO: Right over here, right over here, right over here.
REPORTER: (inaudible) from outside on the street or did it come from (inaudible) ...
O'NEIL: Right now, preliminarily, it appears that the explosion was outside on the street. And if anyone's got a -- if anyone -- hold on a second, hold on. Right now, it appears that the explosion took place outside on the street. And if anybody's got any information, they need to call 1-800-577-TIPS.
REPORTER: Commissioner, you have this on video? What does the surveillance video show you, and what does it -- how does it inform what you're telling us (inaudible).
O'NEILL: We do have video and we see the explosion. And we're going to use that to help us in our investigation.
REPORTER: Are people still evacuating from buildings or are people allowed back in, and (inaudible) buildings (inaudible).
O'NEILL: I think at this point (ph) there's no need to evacuate anybody from that building. We do have traffic, we do have do not breach (ph) flows (ph) from 14th to 32nd Street, from Fifth to Eighth, and that's just for traffic reasons.
REPORTER: Commissioner, how about the second, the possible IED that was found (inaudible) 67th ...
O'NEILL: On 27th Street? We're still investigating that right now.
REPORTER: It was an IED?
O'NEILL: Being investigated.
REPORTER: I know you've got significant surveillance video that you (inaudible) ...
UNKNOWN MAN: Put your hand down, please.
REPORTER: ... Can you tell us anything you may see about anybody walking (inaudible) ...
O'NEIL: Yeah, at this point, we are not. And we are in the process of collecting more video.
UNKNOWN MAN: Right here, right here, right here.
O'NEILL: You're going to have to, we've got the helicopter, you're going to have to speak up a little bit.
REPORTER: IED (inaudible)
O'NEILL: No we haven't said that, all right? We said that so far at this point in the investigation, it wasn't caused by natural gas. We do think it was an intentional act. But this is all part of the investigation.
REPORTER: Was it a pipe bomb? Like the one in New Jersey? A pipe bomb?
O'NEILL: It's too early to tell in the investigation. This happened about less than three hours ago.
REPORTER: We have reports of a suspect being questioned around 27th Street. Can you confirm that anyone's been arrested or not?
O'NEILL: As far as I know right now, no one. We're actively investigating the secondary device on 27th.
NIGRO: A couple more questions here, right here.
REPORTER: Commissioner, Commissioner, have you seen some sort of device? What kind of object did you detect, or see, or witness, or find?
O'NEILL: No, we're not going to go into that right now. As I said, we're in the very early stages of investigation.
REPORTER: Was it in the ...
NIGRO: Hold on ...
REPORTER: The 27th Street location, it seems like that would've been outside the area you initially secured. So what's the assessment of the overall area? Are these three corners clear?
O'NEILL: Lester, that's the process. Right? We have the initial location. Then part of what we do we look for secondary devices. We start where the incident happened, we move north, south, east and west, as far as we need to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more question and we'll have --
O'NEILL: Yes, it is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One more question, we'll come back and update you. Right here. Right here.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Was it a trash can or a dumpster? What actually exploded?
O'NEILL: We're still in the process of trying to figure out where the initial part of the explosion was.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll be back to update you. Thank you. We'll be back to update you. Thank you.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: All right. And there you go. You just heard from the mayor of New York City, from the newly minted police commissioner, and also from the fire commissioner here, Poppy.
Still a lot coming out of this press conference, basically the thing that worried most people, they said at this point they don't believe that there was a connection to terror. They don't believe this guy in New Jersey which you were reporting about earlier.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: Right.
LEMON: They said there's no credible threat at this point. They do believe, though, which is important, that this was an intentional act of some kind. They have video of it, they're looking for more video. 29 injuries, as opposed to 25 or 26 that we heard earlier.
HARLOW: And they believe that one of those injuries may be more serious than previously thought. Again, not life threatening. LEMON: A puncture wound.
HARLOW: But a puncture wound may be more serious.
Evan Perez, our justice correspondent, working his sources, joining us now. They're calling this an intentional act and you heard the mayor say that a few times that it's an intentional act but they do not believe that there is a nexus of terrorism there. Why the distinction? And also they are not talking about specifically an IED device at this point now.
PEREZ: Right, exactly. And what was remarkable about that was that, you know, the way they were hop-scotching a little bit. I understand it obviously and it's obvious that there's still -- this is still very early in the investigation, but there was some curious word choices there, saying it's intentional, but they're not going so far as to calling it a device, which I thought was an odd thing for them to not do. Because then just a few breaths later, they talked about the investigation into a possible secondary device, which is the word they used in that case.
So it may well be because obviously after you have an explosion, not much of a device is found, you still have to figure out, you put it together, you put together the crime scene to figure out what exactly caused it.
In the second instance, perhaps they're looking at an actual object, at a device. So perhaps that's what the confusion there is. So, look, I think at this stage, the mayor is I think trying to calm people down. But we don't know what this is. And I certainly don't -- from talking to people that they're not ruling out anything.
HARLOW: So --
PEREZ: There's no -- certainly, you know, no indication of terrorism, but you can't rule this out after what we have seen today, not only in New Jersey, but these 29 injuries from this event.
HARLOW: Right, they did say, though, that there is no, according to the mayor, connection, they believe, at this hour to finding that pipe bomb in the trash can in Seaside Park, New Jersey, today.
HARLOW: Evan, James O'Neill, the brand-new NYPD commissioner, today being his first official day on the job, did say they have video of the explosion already and that they are poring through it. Do you believe that it was the fact that they have that video that led them to say it was intentional? What else could tell them that it was intentional unless they saw someone placing it or detonating it?
LEMON: They can read the evidence from the -- they can read the makeup of the --
HARLOW: And what --
LEMON: The explosive. Whatever device that was used. Correct, Evan?
PEREZ: I mean, there's a lot of possible evidence that they're looking at, including the crime scene itself. They're looking at what -- whether or not there might be project tiles. I mean, again, this is early and we are just talking about what the possibilities are here. But you look at -- certainly at the pattern that the explosion took and that tells you some things. It also may well be that they are looking at some of that early video, some of the video that, as we know, in that area of Manhattan, there's a lot of surveillance cameras, and the city has done a very good job of being able to tap into all of those to see what is going on in different parts of the city.
This is a very well watched city by the NYPD. And so that's one of the things that may be pointing to that -- to what the mayor and the police chief said there, the police commissioner said during that press conference, but at this point, I mean, it's really so difficult to sort of ascertain what even caused this explosion. Apparently it was loud enough and big enough that some officers who were at the scene or near the scene the explosion and ran there or went there immediately.
And certainly the fire department said that some of their -- the firemen also felt the explosion from a short distance away, so it was very large enough that I think that's one of the reasons why they're still trying to figure out what exactly caused it.
[23:35:08] LEMON: Evan, someone who -- you know, this is her expertise. If you stand by, Evan, I want to bring -- since we're on this vein, I want to bring in our national security analyst, Juliette Kayyem, who -- this is what she does every day.
Juliette, can you go through some of this information with me now, having listened to this press conference? So here's what, according to the police commissioner, the fire -- fire commissioner, and the mayor. They're saying that it was an explosive device that was outside. They said that but they think it was intentional, but they don't believe it was terror. Explain that to us.
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So that may be confusing to many of your viewers, and this is based -- listen, Don, I am always careful with you. This is based on my experience and reading and being in many of those press conferences. I do not believe that the New York Police Department would come out this quickly and with a great degree of certainty saying no suspected terrorism unless they had a pretty good clue of who or some sort of hint or some sort of eyewitness that would suggest it was something but all the -- all the things that people fear in New York City and another terrorist attack.
KAYYEM: They just wouldn't do it. It's a new leader, they don't want to look flat footed.
LEMON: Right. KAYYEM: So I take that at face value from the New York Police
Department, so it means that it was purposeful. The video cameras will likely show movement of a person to or close to the dumpster or the area.
KAYYEM: They are now -- you know, it takes a while to do forensics on a device, but I always say this in a -- you know, in any disaster, you kind of want to wait a few minutes, don't say anything, especially for leadership.
KAYYEM: Don't say anything that gets too far in front.
LEMON: All right, Juliette. Stand by. We're going to bring you back but we got to get to something else.
HARLOW: Juliette, thank you. Stay with us, please, with your expertise so critical at this hour.
Our correspondent, though, Jean Casarez is on the ground there right where that press conference wrapped up.
And Jean, we're now seeing this tweet from the NYPD's counterterrorism bureau, noting the 29 injuries reported, but now saying for the first time one of those may be critical, one of those injuries may be critical, saying we remain on the scene. What else do you know?
CASAREZ: Well, we heard at the press conference they said it was very, very serious, but right here on 23rd Street right now, Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City started out by saying that we have had a very serious incident tonight in New York City. And it is about one block away from me right now.
I want you to look beyond me. This is an active crime scene, what you're looking at, one block away, and this is where the dumpster, the reciprocal is, that the explosion took place outside of it. They are now confirming. But they are processing the scene right now, they did confirm minutes ago that they have gotten video at that moment in time when that explosion took place. They are currently collecting more video. They are asking anyone that has any information, video or being an eyewitness.
They would not go so far as to say if there was a device involved, but that there was an explosion. They do say that they will continue to give updates through the night as they see exactly what it is that they can report. But it is an active crime scene. They did say they believed it was intentional. An intentional act. They do not believe at this point that there is any correlation at all with terrorism. No link, no threat to New York City, but they did confirm, that just blocks from here, 27th, they are investigating another situation, would not say exactly what was that was, does not appear an explosion went off, but all forces are in that area right now. But as we are standing right in the area, one block away from where
this happened, it is an active crime scene. There are many people still out tonight, New York City, Saturday night, people on the street corner. They can't get beyond the police tape, but they are not leaving to go about their business. They're standing here and they're waiting as are all the emergency vehicles tonight and there are many out here -- Don, Poppy.
LEMON: Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.
So Don Lemon, and as you heard from Jean, Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow here. We have just heard from New York City officials, the mayor, Mayor Bill de Blasio, the new police commissioner, James O'Neill, updating us on this explosion in the Chelsea neighborhood, down in Manhattan, 23rd Street to be specifically. And I believe the mayor said 131, right, Poppy?
LEMON: West 23rd Street. And here's what they told us. They said the headline is that the mayor says that there is no evidence of terror -- a terror connection at this point because there is no link to a credible threat. He also said there is no known link to a similar incident, one that was in New Jersey earlier, at a shore, at a marathon.
[23:40:06] That happened earlier today. Poppy Harlow was covering that all evening here.
LEMON: They also are saying that this is -- was definitely an intentional act, but the exact cause of the blast has not been determined.
LEMON: And they say the area is being treated as a crime scene, Poppy.
HARLOW: So we've also learned, and this is important, in the last half an hour or so, that a second site, just four blocks away from this is also being investigated now.
LEMON: That's really important. Yes.
HARLOW: The investigation still under way at 27th Street between 6th and 7th Avenue. The NYPD, all of the other first responders and those agencies are at full alert. That includes the NYPD'S anti-terrorism division, even though they say there's no nexus to terrorism at this time.
We do have an update in the number of injuries for you at this hour. We now know that 29 people, 29 people, were injured in this blast just a few hours ago on a busy Saturday night. One of those people we're learning may be in serious, possibly even critical condition. Twenty-four of the injured taken to area hospitals, some of them we
know to Bellevue Hospital on the east side of Manhattan. Some injuries, minor scrapes, cuts, et cetera, but again at least one in what appears to be critical condition.
LEMON: I think the -- you know, especially since there is a second scene, Poppy.
LEMON: That we got confirmation from those officials, I mean, that takes it to a new level if there is indeed a second scene. It could be that they know who the culprits are.
LEMON: And they may be at there -- you know, wherever they did.
HARLOW: That's a good point.
LEMON: Or what have you, it doesn't mean that necessarily that there's another explosive device, but we don't know. We don't want to speculate, keep the speculation to a minimum here.
As Poppy and I mentioned earlier, the president of the United States has been updated, made aware of the situation, so have both presidential candidates, Republican and Democratic candidates. And we know Donald Trump in Colorado Springs before officials talked about what was going on, at least confirmed what was going on. He told a crowd there that an explosion happened in New York City and, you know, we had to get better about it.
And then we're also hearing now from Hillary Clinton. She spoke to the press on her plane. This was just moments ago. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I've been briefed about bombings in New York and New Jersey and the attack in Minnesota. Obviously we need to do everything we can to support our first responders, also to pray for the victims. We have to let this investigation unfold. We've been in touch with various officials including the mayor's office in New York to learn what they are discovering as they conduct this investigation. And I'll have more to say about it when we actually know some facts.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Secretary, do you have any reaction to the fact that Donald Trump immediately, upon taking the stage tonight, called the explosion in New York a bomb? Was that the term?
CLINTON: Well, I think it's important to know the facts about any incident like this. That's why it's critical to support the first responders, the investigators who are looking into it, trying to determine what did happen. I think it's always wiser to wait until you have information before making conclusions because we are just in the beginning stages of trying to determine what happened. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Any concerns about what this might mean for
the state of the race?
CLINTON: I'm just concerned about any kind of incident that happens anywhere in our country and I think we should again withhold judgment until we know more about what happened with the likely motivation might have been. Obviously do everything we can to determine who was behind these incidents. I don't think it's time to think about --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you think Obama talked about this?
CLINTON: No, it was not raised in very short conversation.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you think he's more coordinated in any way?
CLINTON: I don't think we know and I think it would be appropriate to speculate until we do know. Let's try to figure out as much as we can by having the experts, the professionals go through this, try to determine what you have to in order to trace it back and then see who's behind it. Thank you all.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: That was moments ago, Hillary Clinton speaking to the press on her plane. As you can see that was White Plains in New York, a suburb of New York City, but two very different responses here.
LEMON: Hillary Clinton urging caution, saying we don't know even if the two were connected, and I guess it may have been before the press conference because they're saying they don't believe New Jersey and New York are connected at this point. Was also -- she was asked about Donald Trump's response, Poppy.
[23:45:10] HARLOW: She was, and we know that Donald Trump speaking in Colorado tonight made a statement very early on, shortly after the reports of this explosion, we want to play that for you now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I must tell you that just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what's going on. But, boy, we are living in a time -- we better get very tough, folks. We better get very, very tough.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HARLOW: Donald Trump speaking earlier tonight in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Don Lemon and I are with you covering this breaking news. 29 injured, one possibly critical after this big explosion in New York City, in the Chelsea neighborhood.
Errol Louis of New York 1 News and Time Warner Cable News is with us. You cover New York inside and out, not just the politics but also, I mean, New York 1, your network is New York City.
LEMON: And Chelsea. And Chelsea Market.
HARLOW: And you happen to be based right there.
LEMON: Can I --
HARLOW: The responses --
LEMON: Yes. The contrast of the responses, so you think were they similar? Were they different? What stuck out to you?
LOUIS: No, no. Very different. Very different. I mean, I read Hillary Clinton is trying to be sort of, you know, calm, show an air of command, an air of not wanting to jump to conclusions, knowing, I think as she does because she's been in the limelight for so long that she's talking to millions and possibly tens of millions of people. And, you know, she knows what I have seen on social media, what I'm sure you're seeing in between as we're doing the work here, that there are rumors flying all over the place.
LOUIS: That there's coordinated terrorist attacks, that there's this, and there's that.
LOUIS: And it's so important not to sort of let those rumors fly, it's so important not to feed into the hysteria. This is a relatively contained, thank god so far, situation where there's been no loss of life. And it looks like everybody has got things under control. But, you know, you change the facts a little bit, this is how we end up in wars. This is how we end making serious and grave mistakes.
I mean, one interesting part of the briefing, from a credible source, from the police commissioner. He said that the first responders to the scene included the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
LOUIS: I mean, this is the government working. This is the government at work. You know, we pay all of these taxes.
LOUIS: The FBI, local authorities, other federal agencies all work together. They happen to be based, frankly, in -- I probably shouldn't say too much about it but they happen to be based in Chelsea and they responded.
HARLOW: Right. LOUIS: You know so when they say it's an intentional act, but there's
no terrorist connection, it's not just some politician, it's not the mayor just kind of mouthing off. These are the top intelligence officials that we have available to us who have proved themselves over and over again.
I think Hillary Clinton is aware of that and that's what I took sort of from her tone, that she's -- she understands it's a big apparatus that has to be allowed to do its work before the politicians really step in.
HARLOW: And again if you're just joining us, you're looking at live images, aerial images of the scene of an explosion in New York City just a few hours ago in a very busy Saturday night, in the Chelsea neighborhood, at the intersection of 23rd Street and 6th Avenue. That is sort of towards Lower Manhattan. Don Lemon and I are here covering it all for you.
Don, we just got a big update from the mayor. The first time we've heard from him tonight, saying none of the injured are likely to die, but 29 are injured. There is no specific connection to that earlier pipe bomb explosion in New Jersey. No evidence of a terror connection, but, Don, still calling it intentional.
LEMON: Still calling it intentional again. And as Juliette Kayyem, as our national security analyst has been saying that there is a distinction here for, you know, the viewer, for lay people like us, you know, it may be a bit confusing saying it's intentional but it's not terrorism. But there is a reason that they are doing that. And I think you're right. everyone that I'm hearing from is saying that in this particular situation, what the NYPD needs, what all the officials need, they need space to deal with it.
LEMON: And it's best to be more cautious about your comments.
LEMON: And what's happening than to go and assume that something is and it may not be that.
HARLOW: Well, and of course, talking about they need space to do this investigation, that would speak right to the fact that they have told people basically to clear out of 27th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenue, a secondary location, where they believe there could possibly be a secondary device. They are investigating that area.
LEMON: So let's get -- so we're going to continue to move on here, and we're going to be live on the air for as long as it takes here in New York City because we don't know as I say. They don't believe now that there's any connection to terror, but they did not rule it out completely.
HARLOW: Right. LEMON: But now -- so let's give them a chance to investigate. So I'm
going to go over what the police commissioner said, what the fire commission and the mayor said tonight. First of all he said the NYPD is on full alert, Poppy. Said there is no terror as of now. It is not connected, they believe, at this moment to the explosion that happened in New Jersey.
[23:50:02] No credible threat. They do however believe there was an intentional act. If you are in this area, if you know anything, they also ask for you to call this number, 1-800-577-TIPS. 1-800-577-TIPS. They also said besides this explosion, which happened outside on the street at West 23rd Street and 6th Avenue, there's also a second scene -- excuse me, which is 27th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. That street is being closed off. We don't know why they're there.
LEMON: We don't know if it's second device. We don't know if that's where they believe that the culprits are. We have no idea. Again, don't want to speculate. According to James O'Neill, the new police commissioner, he said the explosion happened outside of 131 West 23rd Street at about 8:30. The 10th precinct got a call. The bomb squad was called. The Joint Terrorism Task Force also called out. He said there are 29 injuries right now. One serious because of a puncture wound and then also the commissioner (INAUDIBLE) also adding to that. Then also saying they do have video showing the explosion which will help them.
LEMON: And they are in the process of collecting new video.
HARLOW: A great point that they have the video of the explosion already and they're poring through it because as you know so many eyes in the sky in New York. I mean, video cameras on every corner.
HARLOW: And they're asking --
LEMON: And in people's hands. In your pocket, right?
HARLOW: And your pocket. That's what they're asking for, so anyone who may have been close to the scene, they are asking that you call that number, 1-800-577-TIPS, and give them any video, pictures, information that you might have because they do thinks this is intentional and they're not saying it this hour who they believe carried it out.
I believe we have our correspondent Rachel Crane.
LEMON: Yes, Rachel Crane is outside Bellevue Hospital where some of the injured were taken earlier.
Rachel, we spoke with you earlier. You said you didn't see any of the injured coming in. I don't know if that has changed right now. But also you may see family members and friends and also emergency vehicles showing up. What is the situation now in Bellevue?
RACHEL CRANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, outside of Bellevue there is a heightened security presence. We've seen a steady stream of ambulances come in all evening and each one are being checked by armed guards. Now I spoke to an individual who was in the ER at the time of the explosion. He said that suddenly the emergency room had over 30 officers inside. He was told that his treatment would take longer because a situation had come up.
He also said that he saw two young women speaking to an FBI agent, also a police officer. One of those young women had a cut over her eye but neither one of their injuries seemed to be serious. But as I pointed out, very much a heightened security presence outside of Bellevue. We've seen a steady stream of officers also coming here to the scene.
LEMON: OK, Rachel. Thank you very much. We appreciate it. We'll get back to Rachel Crane outside of Bellevue Hospital where many of the injured were taken.
HARLOW: And let's get Tom Fuentes's perspective. He's not only a CNN, you know, security analyst, and also a former assistant director of the FBI.
Tom, what do you make of the fact that Mayor de Blasio said no evidence of a terror connection at this point but saying the early indications are that this was intentional. What would tell them it is intentional and what would tell them that it is not terrorism at this point?
TOM FUENTES, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: You know, Poppy, I have no idea. I've been a special agent in charge, I have run two joint terrorism task forces. And when you have someone deliberately commit an act that results in 25 people being injured, unless it was accident, the person was carrying something dangerous and it accidentally detonated, and they know that it was an accident. If it was intentional it's terrorism in my book. And I don't know how they're, you know, mincing words with this or not and they can but it doesn't make any sense to me, to be honest.
HARLOW: They said that -- also, Tom, they said they believe there's no connection to the incident in New Jersey. Earlier this morning a pipe bomb went off in a trash can in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and it was on a timer and it was set to detonate at the time runners in a 5K race were supposed to run right by that area. The race started late therefore it didn't injure anyone. They said already no connection to that. How would they know that so quickly.
FUENTES: Well, whatever the -- whatever caused this explosion, mysterious device that exploded and hurt all these people must have been enough different from what caused the explosion in New Jersey to be able to say it's two different devices or it's two different events. I don't know what could explode that at hand of a man or a woman that
-- you know, that causes all these injuries and if it's not an explosive device how that can't be deliberate act. The fact that they didn't know of a threat beforehand is irrelevant.
[23:55:02] You know, there are a lot of events and crimes that happen and nobody knew until it happened that it happened. You know, the fact that we didn't have advance warning in Orlando or in San Bernardino didn't mean that you could say well, it wasn't terrorism because we didn't know about the threat before it happened. So I just don't understand this argument, it confuses me. If somebody else really understands it, congratulations, but I think it's -- I think they're playing word games.
LEMON: We're looking now -- thank you, Tom. We'll get back to you. Please stand by. These are live pictures now and you can that some of the injured here are -- that they have inside of this ambulance and emergency and rescue vehicle. But again, these are live pictures coming in from our affiliate WABC, our affiliate WABC and WCBS helping us out as well as New York 1 so we are very appreciate of their help this evening.
I want to bring in Juliette Kayyem. Juliette, because we have been talking about, as we look at these pictures here, we've been talking about how they would know -- Poppy specifically asked Tom Fuentes, how would they know that it's not connected. They would be looking at the components of whatever type device it is, whatever device the components that survived the explosion and if the components are the same then they would make an assessment that they were connected. If they're not, they would assume that they are not connected. Correct?
KAYYEM: That's exactly right. We also don't know what kind of eyewitness or photo information they have. We don't even know -- you know, we're using this word device, we don't even know, you know, sort of -- you know, what the device is, there's been no disclosure. Specifically is it a handmade pipe bomb, is it more similar to a military-style IED? So these things aren't being disclosed and so we won't -- we actually won't know whether a device is even the right word to be using at this stage.
But I -- you know, I would say, you know, I heard what Tom was saying and I think experts disagree and that's fair. I would find it so surprising that a new police chief, his first day, would come out and say this is not connected to terrorism right at the get-go to calm a city of course. But he did say it was intentional. Unless they have some idea of who or some entity or some person that was in charge of it because if the story -- if it ends up being terrorism, the story is this new police chief and the NYPD were flat-footed. So that is -- part of it is, you know, why would they say that? They've got to have more evidence obviously that they're --
LEMON: Can I ask you something, Juliette, on that -- on that note?
LEMON: Can I ask you? Are were parsing words here? When we hear that terror thing we automatically think of international terror. Could they mean that it's not organized, an organized terror group like an al Qaeda or an ISIS or so, but there could be, or some sort of conspiracy but there could be a lone wolf in this act, right?
KAYYEM: Absolutely. The lone wolf is animated by a known or even an unknown terrorist organization, we would call it terrorism. If you're asking me, has terrorism in our minds become equated with Islamic terrorism or lone wolf ISIS affiliated the answer is yes. That that is -- and we can parse words and we certainly do. But I interpret the NYPD to say they have no information that this is tied to the ISIS inspired Islamic terrorism. They would not have been that direct in their language.
Now are there other types of terrorism that existed well before 9/11 and have existed after 9/11? Absolutely. And what -- we know white supremacy, we know antigovernment terrorism, we know the 1995 Oklahoma attacks, absolutely, and it's a great point that you're making that we talk in code, and we're all guilty of it and I -- but I do think that the NYPD came out strongly to say at least -- we don't believe that it's the ISIS sort of lone wolf type.
If I could just add one more thing, people wonder, you know, Errol was saying from New York 1, you know, this is government working. People wonder where all that sort of taxpayer money goes to in terms of supporting law enforcement and first responders, what we're seeing at hospitals is what you call surge capacity. It is what we invest in our first responders so that they save lives. And so it's so remarkable to see because it reminds us that's what we're depend on the but it's also what they train for every day. Sort of their doing their jobs.
LEMON: Juliette Kayyem is our national security analyst and she will be continuing on with us now.
HARLOW: Yes. A lot more ahead.
ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.
LEMON: Getting close to midnight here, almost midnight here in New York City, I'm Don Lemon.
HARLOW: And I'm Poppy Harlow. We do have breaking news out of New York City for you this Saturday night. An explosion has taken place in a Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan on a very busy Saturday night. We are hearing 29 people, officials saying 29 people now have injured in this explosion that occurred just around 8:40 p.m. Eastern Time. So just about three hours ago.