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New Jersey Explosive Devices at Train Station Add to East Coast Uneasiness

Image: New Jersey Explosive Devices at Train Station Add to East Coast Uneasiness

A NJ Transit train arrives into the station as a strike looms on one of the nations most popular commuter lines on March 9, 2016 in Newark, New Jersey. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 19 Sep 2016 08:48 AM

Explosive devices found at a New Jersey train station are just the latest shake-up to hit the East Coast after a string of bombings over the weekend.

Police responded to a scene near the New Jersey Transit train station in Elizabeth Sunday night after two men reported finding a backpack in a trash can, NBC News reported.

The two men alerted the Elizabeth Police Department after noticing that the backpack, near Hector's Place Restaurant, contained "wires and a pipe," The New York Times reported. Police soon realized the backpack contained five explosives.

A bomb squad robot was "cutting into the device when it exploded" around 12:30 a.m. Monday, Chris Bollwage, the mayor of Elizabeth, New Jersey, told NBC. No one was injured. One robot was destroyed while a second robot had its mechanical arm blown off, The Times noted.

Northeast Corridor and New Jersey Coastline trains resumed regular weekday service at 5:30 a.m. Monday after police activity cleared in Elizabeth, but passengers should expect delays, according to a New Jersey Transit alert.

Law enforcement sources told NBC News that the device appeared similar to the one that exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey, Saturday morning before a road race for Marines.

"[I am] extremely concerned for the residents of the community [if] someone could just go and drop a backpack into a garbage can that has multiple explosives in it," Bollwage said, according to NBC News. "Based on the loudness, I think people could have been severely hurt or injured if they had been in the vicinity."

The device in Seaside Park exploded in a trash can around 9:35 a.m. Saturday. A Marine Corps charity race that would have funneled thousands of people right by the site of the blast had been scheduled to start but was delayed because of problems with registration. The hold up likely saved many people from injury, officials told the Asbury Park Press

Authorities said they do not yet know if the bombs in Elizabeth and Seaside Park are connected to the bombing that injured 29 people in the Chelsea area of Manhattan Saturday night. A pressure cooker explosive was also found four blocks away, though it did not detonate.

Security was already tight in New York City for the U.N. General Assembly, but Mayor Bill de Blasio promised an even larger police presence this week.

WABC-TV reported that the FBI and New York Police are questioning five people in connection to the Chelsea bombs.

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Explosive devices found at a New Jersey train station are just the latest shake-up to hit the East Coast after a string of bombings over the weekend.
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Monday, 19 Sep 2016 08:48 AM
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