A suspicious device found in a trash can near a train station exploded early Monday as a bomb squad was attempting to disarm it with a robot, officials said.
Elizabeth Mayor Christian Bollwage said five devices were found in one bag in a trash can by two homeless men around 8:30 p.m. Sunday near the Elizabeth train station. The men had reported seeing wires and a pipe coming out of the package, Bollwage said.
There was no immediate report of injuries or damage.
New Jersey Transit service trains resumed service on the Northeast Corridor and North Jersey Coast Line at 5:30 a.m. Monday, but they faced residual delays because service was suspended after the devices were found. Amtrak was operating on a modified schedule.
Train passengers reported being stuck on Amtrak and NJ Transit trains for hours Sunday night, while some trains moved in reverse to let passengers off at other stations. Amtrak said 2,400 passengers were affected and trains were being brought in to other stations for people to get other transportation.
The discovery of the suspicious package came a day after the explosion in Manhattan and an unexploded pressure-cooker device was found four blocks away in New York City. Also Saturday, a pipe bomb exploded about an hour from the Elizabeth train station in Seaside Park, New Jersey, forcing the cancellation of a military charity 5K run.
Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old Elizabeth resident was arrested in connection to the Manhattan and New Jersey Shore bombings after a shootout with police on Monday.
Investigators have yet to publicly tie Rahami the bombs found near they train station and said they are still gathering evidence.
Bollwage said it was possible that someone worried about the authorities was trying to get rid of the package.
“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,” Bollwage said. “You have to wonder how many people could have been hurt.”