A critically injured man lies on the
ground as he receives assistance after explosion was detonated on
central park in . Photo / AFP

A 19-year-old man suffered a serious injury to his left foot in
Central Park on Sunday, police said, and the man’s friends told
authorities he stepped on something that exploded.
Authorities
said the man was in the park at about 11 am. The unidentified man “was
walking, he stepped on a rock, there was some sort of explosion and he
injured his left foot,” New York Police Sergeant Lee Jones told AFP.
People in the area heard the explosion blocks away.
“It sounded like a cannon,” Sara Gordon told the Daily . “I thought it was a Fourth of July thing.”

A critically injured man lies on a stretcher after an explosion at Central Park in New York. Photo / AFP
It was unclear what caused the explosion but it may have been fireworks ahead of the Independence Day holiday on Monday.

The bizarre accident forced the amputation of 18-year-old
Connor Golden’s left leg below the knee and set the nation’s largest
city on edge a day before the July 4th holiday was expected draw
thousands to watch the city’s annual fireworks display.
“He was
severely injured. His left leg was severely damaged, all bone and
muscle,” said John Murphy, visiting the city from Connecticut.
Murphy said he stayed at the scene with the man until emergency responders arrived.
Authorities didn’t immediately identify the injured man.
The NYPD’s bomb squad and police were investigating the circumstances of the explosion.
Mayor Bill de Blasio sent out a tweet reminding people to stay safe around fireworks.

“Fireworks are fun but let’s leave them to the professionals,” the mayor tweeted.
New
York City police officials said at an evening news conference that they
had no evidence to indicate the blast was related to terrorism and had
documented no credible threats against the city. But many questions
about the case remain unanswered.
Deputy Police Chief John
O’Connell aid the material was not an explosive device or related to
commercial fireworks, but he did not give its chemical name or describe
exactly how it was packaged.
Authorities said the material was
“shock-sensitive,” but not meant to go off by stepping on it. The
material may have been placed next to the rock to hide it and could have
been there for longer than a day. Police were using sniffer dogs to
search the rest of the park for additional explosives but said none had
been found by early Sunday evening.
“We believe this could have
been put here as a part of an experiment,” O’Connell said. He said he
did not think that Golden or his two friends were involved in the
creation of the explosive device or placing it in the park.