A group of friends enjoying a morning in NYC's Central Park stumbled onto misfortune Sunday when one apparently stepped on an explosive, severely injuring his leg, the New York Post reports. The FDNY says the explosion happened around 11am at 68th Street and Fifth Avenue, per NBC New York, and a senior law enforcement official tells the station a bag of fireworks was found near the scene, though it's not clear it was a firework that caused the explosion. The Post IDs the 18-year-old who was injured as Conner Golden, who was climbing on rocks in the park with some other pals, all said to be visiting from the DC area. Golden was whisked to Bellevue Hospital and is currently undergoing surgery, with sources saying an amputation looks likely. 1010 Wins reports Golden is in critical but stable condition, via CBS New York.
According to John Murphy, another visitor to the park who came upon the scene, it looked like Golden's foot was missing below the ankle. "His left leg was severely damaged, all bone and muscle," he says. "He was in shock. I don't think he even realized what had happened." Cops are trying to determine if the explosion, which witnesses tell the Post could be heard from outside where Elie Wiesel's funeral was being held, was caused by a firework or what the Post calls a "more sinister" device, and if the DC buddies were the ones who may have brought fireworks into the park. "I said, 'Come on, guys, were you carrying fireworks?'" Murphy says. "And they said no. And I believed them. … This wasn't an M80 or a cherry bomb. [This was] something much more serious." NBC notes that section of the park was cordoned off, but the park wasn't evacuated or closed due to the incident.