Man Injured After Explosion in Central Park

Central Park small explosion - AP - H
Andres Kudacki/Courtesy of AP

An NYPD spokesperson said part of New York's Central Park is closed to investigate the incident.

NEW YORK (AP) — 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.

Fire officials say it happened shortly before 11 a.m., inside the park at 68th Street and Fifth Avenue. An NYPD spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that a 19-year-old male, who was visiting the city with friends, was climbing rocks at the park when the explosion occurred. 

People in the area said an explosion was heard blocks away. "It sounded like a cannon," Sara Gordon told the New York Daily News. "I thought it was a Fourth of July thing."

The Fire Department said the man suffered serious injuries, possibly an amputation, and was taken to Bellevue hospital. He is in critical but stable condition. 

He "was severely injured. His left leg was severely damaged, all bone and muscle," said John Murphy, visiting the city from Connecticut. He said he stayed at the scene with the man until emergency responders arrived.

Authorities didn't immediately identify the injured man.

A bomb squad was on the site. The NYPD spokesperson also said that they cannot speculate yet on what caused the explosion, but part of Central Park is closed to investigate the incident. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio sent out a tweet reminding people to stay safe around fireworks. "Dangerous incident in Central Park today. Fireworks are fun — but let's leave them to the professionals," the mayor tweeted.