The FBI and police in Elizabeth, New Jersey, accidentally detonated an explosive device in a backpack found in a wastebasket outside a pub and moved to near a train trestle, Mayor Christian Bollwage said early Monday. The package exploded as a police robot was cutting through wires on one of five devices in a backpack, Bollwage said, adding, "Based on the loudness, I think people could have been severely hurt or injured if they had been in the vicinity." There were no injuries reported. New Jersey Transit and Amtrak have suspended train service in the area, and Bollwage said he hopes the trains are running in time for Monday's morning commute.
Bollwage said that two men found a backpack at about 9:30 p.m. near the train station, then, thinking it could be of value, took it with them. When they noticed wires sticking out of the package, they dropped it and informed police. The Union County Bomb Squad first sent a drone to examine the package, the mayor said, and "the drone indicated it could be suspicious and it could be a live bomb." It was, and you can see the reaction to the explosion below, as well as Bollwage's update:
The New York City area and New Jersey are on alert after two possibly unrelated bombings on Saturday, in New York's Chelsea neighborhood and on the Jersey Shore. On Sunday night, FBI agents pulled over a "vehicle of interest in the investigation" of the New York bombing in Brooklyn, according to FBI spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser, and while nobody has yet been charged with any crime, two other officials tell The Associated Press that the FBI is questioning five people from the car. (This article has been updated throughout.)