Reports of an explosion near the Elizabeth train station near scene of investigation into suspicious package.
A New Jersey mayor said one of five devices found in a backpack near a train station has exploded while a bomb squad robot was attempting to disarm it.
Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said that the device exploded shortly after 12:30 am local time on Monday. The FBI was leading the investigation and working to disarm the other four devices.
There were no reports of injuries. Bollwage said to expect more detonations.
Two men called police and reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of a package after finding it around 8:30 pm on Sunday, the mayor said.
Al Jazeera’s Tom Ackerman, reporting from one of the stalled trains in nearby Metuchen, New Jersey said authorities had "suspended all services on trains south and west of New York City because of reports of a possible live bomb had been found in a trash can at the Elizabeth station".
Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said two men called police and reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of a package after finding it at about 9:30 pm on Sunday.
Bollwage said the Union County bomb squad’s robotic device indicated the package the men left near the train trestle could be a live bomb, adding that the FBI and state police would decide how to remove the device.
New Jersey Transit told the Associated Press news agency that service had been suspended between Newark Liberty Airport and Elizabeth, and New York’s emergency management department said that New Jersey-bound Amtrak trains were being held at New York Penn Station.
The discovery of the suspicious package comes a day after an explosion in Manhattan injured 29 people, and an unexploded pressure-cooker device was found four blocks away.
"The thought, of course, is that they are all related," said Ackerman.
Ackerman said that a "widespread search" was underway across the New York Metropolitan area to "see who is behind this spat of bombings, and of course, the suspicion would appear, that there are more to come in locations that we have yet to find".