It could have been worse—that’s one consensus among New Yorkers regarding the explosion that rocked Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood Saturday, where the bomb blew out windows and damaged cars. And at least one driver witnessed firsthand the power of the blast when his backlite was blown out.
“We got lucky all the way around, thank God,” said Duane Spearman, owner of Allerton Glass Co. in the Bronx. The area of the explosion “is always crowded,” he said in a phone interview. “Somebody could have gotten killed for sure.”
The Saturday night bombing injured 29 people and caused significant structural damage, according to police reports. Earlier Saturday, a bomb exploded near the starting line of a charity run in Seaside Park, N.J. Several other explosive devices were found in the area, one of which exploded while police officers investigated the device. No injuries were reported.
M.D. Alam, an Uber driver, had just picked up a fare when the blast occurred. The ensuing shrapnel severely damaged his Toyota and blew out his back window, according to a story in The New York Times.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo echoed Spearman’s sentiment in a statement released by the governor’s office Sunday.
“What I was left with was in some ways we were lucky that we didn’t lose any life because it was that severe and that powerful an explosion,” Cuomo said.
“I think being on site, you can get a sense of the damage, which was really much more extensive than I had anticipated,” Cuomo said. “The physical structures next to the site of the explosion were significantly damaged. Across the street, down the block, glass was shattered. So, it was a very powerful explosion and after seeing the site, that 29 people were injured is unfortunate, but news is they have all left, been treated and have left the hospital.”
Cuomo also noted there was no damage to the city’s subway system and expressed a desire to get Manhattan “back to normal.”
“That’s the New York way,” he said.
Addressing the possibility the explosions were acts by terrorists, Cuomo said, “ … if anyone was trying to scare us or frighten us, it didn’t work, because we are New Yorkers, and we’re just going to get up and running.”