If you’ve heard a series of loud explosions over the last hour, don’t panic. Twitter users initially worried that the electric grid may have blown in lower Manhattan again, but the loud noises are actually due to a series of controlled detonations reportedly orchestrated by the FBI.
According to NBC News, the “FBI says they will help US Parks police safely explode damaged explosions after #Sandy 6X over next 30 minutes on Ellis Island.” ABC and MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer also reported the incident.
Ellis Island itself experienced extensive damage during the storm and is closed “for the foreseeable future.”
The Observer has reached out to multiple sources for independent confirmation. A representative at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office told us the FBI issued a press release about the issue, so we left a message for them. The Mayor’s office directed us to the National Parks Service, which directed us to the Department of Interior, where we left a message. We also contacted the NYPD, which promised to get back to us soon. Fun with government runarounds!
According to a press release published by the AP:
Officials are detonating damaged explosives on Ellis Island Friday afternoon.
The U.S. Park Police are conducting controlled detonations of explosives that were damaged during Superstorm Sandy.
The FBI and Jersey City bomb squad are assisting.
Officials want residents to know the explosions are planned and they should not be alarmed.
We still can’t get anyone to tell us why there were explosives on Ellis Island and where they came from. A tipster writes in, “They were transported there. Ellis Island is a good distance away any populated areas, relatively speaking.” We’ll update if we can get any confirmation on this.