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Investigations Under Way in New York Explosions
By Suzanne Presto
VOA, New York
05 May 2005

New York City police shuts down portion of Third Avenue in Manhattan as they investigate explosion in front of building which houses British Consulate, Thursday

Two home-made grenades exploded early Thursday outside a New York City office building that houses the British Consulate, as well as several other offices.

Investigators are reviewing security tapes, searching for clues to determine who is responsible for the pre-dawn blasts outside a Manhattan office building.

Officials at a morning news conference said no injuries were reported, and damage to the building was minimal - only a shattered glass pane.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly explained that two small, home-made explosive devices had been placed inside a concrete flower planter outside the building.

"You know, a fairly powerful force that broke a foot-size piece of concrete from the planter through the front plate of the building," said Raymond Kelly. "It broke the glass plate, so obviously, if someone [had been] in that vicinity they could be seriously injured."

Commissioner Kelly says New York City's bomb squad and the Federal Bureau of Investigation believe the makeshift devices were filled with black powder, and possibly ignited by hand.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg cautioned people to avoid jumping to conclusions about the explosions' intended target.

"We do not, at this point, have any idea who did it, or a motive, but we have the best people working on investigating, and I think, eventually, we'll find out who did it, and we will apprehend them," said Michael Bloomberg.

Mr. Bloomberg said no one made threats, or has claimed responsibility for the explosions. He also pointed out the British Consulate is not the only office in the 14-story building. The blasts occurred on the day of Britain's general elections.

Authorities closed several streets in mid-town Manhattan immediately after the incident, tying up rush hour traffic.