Watch: Moment Robot Detonates Pipe Bomb in Elizabeth, NJ

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Cameras caught the moment a law enforcement robot, working to disarm five pipe bombs found at the Elizabeth, New Jersey train station, accidentally detonated one of them early Monday morning.

Authorities found the pipe bombs in backpacks and successfully disarmed four of the five. The accidental explosion triggered conflicting reports regarding whether police intended a controlled detonation.

Sunday night’s explosion was the third in a string of similar bombings across the tri-state New York area. Two homeless men discovered the Elizabeth bombs in a backpack in a garbage can by the NJ Transit rail station. When they pulled the backpack from the garbage can and looked inside, they quickly realized that it contained five different pipe bombs. The two men dropped the bag and alerted authorities.

The Mayor of Elizabeth, Christian Bollwage, told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes, “The robots that were going in to disarm it, to cut a wire and it exploded. “I don’t know the technological aspect of that. I know there are other devices, but I don’t know what they are made up of but they are going to have to be removed and all the fragments from the other pieces will have to be picked up so the FBI can investigate this fully.” Bollwage went on to add, “I’m extremely concerned for the residents of the community, but more importantly extremely concerned for everyone in the state and country where someone can just go and drop a backpack into a garbage can that has multiple explosives in it with no timers and then you have to wonder how many people could have been hurt.”

The incident in Elizabeth Monday morning came in the wake of a series of bombings in the New York tri-state area. A similar bomb went off in a garbage can in the Jersey shore town of Seaside Park Saturday morning. Following the explosion, an investigation found four more unexploded devices along the route.

A second explosion, this one injuring 29, occurred Saturday night in the Chelsea section of New York City around 8:30 PM. Following that explosion that injured twenty-nine people, a witness discovered a second pressure cooker bomb left on the street outside of her apartment. The second device did not detonate and was able to be taken away for examination by the bomb squad.

Police identified a main suspect in these bombings, Ahmed Khan Rahami, on Monday morning. Police arrested Rahami after a shootout in Linden, New Jersey shortly before noon Monday. Rahami is a U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan.


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