A man suffered a severe leg injury Sunday after he was hit by an explosion in New York’s Central Park while climbing a rock.
Fire officials said Connor Golden, 18, may require a “possible amputation,” multiple outlets reported. Police and the bomb squad were on the scene.
The blast, which occurred just before 11 a.m., may have been caused by a firework, NBC New York reported, citing a law enforcement source. Police told reporters at the scene that traces of fireworks wrappers were recovered, The New York Times reported.
“We don’t know what happened,” one of the man’s friends told The New York Daily News. “There was a small explosion, then dust.”
Golden and his friends were visiting New York from Washington D.C. for the Fourth of July holiday, The New York Post reported.
Golden was climbing a large, sloping rock when he stepped on something that “exploded,” a witness told CBS2.
A witness, John Murphy, said Golden’s foot was “all but gone.” He said he spoke with Golden’s friends after the blast.
“I said, ‘Come on, guys, were you carrying fireworks?’ And they said no. And I believed them,” Murphy told The New York Post. “That was no normal firework. This wasn’t an M80 or a cherry bomb. Some something much more serious. I saw a diver that reminded me of impact craters.”
The incident, near Fifth Avenue and 68th Street, happened just a few blocks from where a funeral was being held for Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elie Wiesel and was also near the Central Park Zoo, police said.
Officials had scheduled a news conference for later Sunday afternoon.