Conner Golden, 18, was climbing rocks in Central Park on July 3, 2016, with friends when he stepped on an explosive. The device blew off the left foot of the college student, which resulted in an amputation just below the knee. While police initially believed the explosion may have been the result of fireworks given the timing of the incident, it has since been revealed that the device was made from “chemicals found in hard stores.”
— Sade Baderinwa (@SadeABC) July 14, 2016
The Daily Mail reports that Conner Golden had his left leg amputated below the knee after stepping on an explosive device while climbing rocks in New York City’s Central Park. The teen was climbing the rocks with his friends when the explosion took place. Emergency crews responded to the scene and found the young man’s left foot “severely mutilated.” He was rushed to the hospital, but medical staff were unable to save the foot or the lower portion of his leg, which resulted in the amputation.
Following the explosion, many feared that the device may have been part of a larger terrorist attack or a fireworks accident. However, following an investigation of the incident, police now believe that the explosive was created by someone with a “basic knowledge of chemistry” designed to create a small explosion but not hurt anyone. In fact, police noted that the explosive was packaged inside of a small plastic baggie and that it appeared that someone was experimenting with the chemicals attempting to make a loud “flash and bang.” However, when the experiment failed, the creator simply tossed the baggie up onto the rocks.
— NYT Metro Desk (@NYTMetro) July 12, 2016
NBC 4 reports that police do not believe the explosive was created to harm anyone in the park, but was rather the result of careless disposal by the amateur chemist.
“When the bag failed to detonate, the person left behind the volatile mixture of chemicals in the park. There was no sign of any triggering mechanism, and authorities don’t believe the device was designed to intentionally hurt people.”
According to the New York Post, Conner Golden was with two friends when the explosion took place. His friends, 20-year-old Thomas Hinds and 18-year-old Matthew Stabile, say that following the horrific injury that Golden was rather calm and simply responded, “get help.”
“I was walking in front of him and suddenly heard this extremely loud explosion directly behind me. When I turned around, I saw Connor lying there, his foot completely gone. It was insane. He was moaning and saying, ‘Get help.’”
Local authorities say it is not uncommon for people to attempt to make homemade fireworks on the Fourth of July and that they believe Golden’s injuries were the result of one such careless homemade fireworks experiment. The homemade explosive was found in a baggie along with wet matches indicating to police that someone tried to light it the night before but it failed due to the wet weather. However, when Conner stepped on the bag it created friction which ignited the explosion.
“It was a homemade device. They probably tried to light it on Friday night, but it didn’t go off because of the rain. [Investigators] found wet matches near it. It probably just went off because of the friction of him stepping on it.”
— People Magazine (@people) July 9, 2016
Following the amputation, Conner’s parents have spoken to the media about the accident and say they are just thankful for the support and quick actions of NYC’s famously great first responders. In a statement to People Magazine, the grateful parents say that their son could have died if it wasn’t for their son’s urgent treatment. They also thanked two Good Samaritans who quickly rendered aide to the injured teen by applying an immediate tourniquet.
[Image by Andres Kudacki/AP Photo]