Two toy grenades filled with gunpowder were set off outside the British Consulate in New York City early Thursday morning, causing no injuries, but rattling nerves across the city.
The building, in mid-Manhattan, was slightly damaged. The grenades had been placed in a cement flower box outside the front door, according to police reports.
The British consulate is on the 9th and 10th floors of the building. The building also houses several domestic and foreign companies.
There were some rush hour delays because streets around the site were closed. Trains skipped their stop on the subway line near the site.
The blasts happened at 3:50 a.m. - just when voters were going to the polls in Britain for a heated race. But offiicals said there was no estasblished connection between the election and the blasts.
The New York City mayor's office reported it did not have a suspect or motive by Thursday morning.
To the city's interfaith responders, this event is another reminder why New Yorkers need to be prepared.
"This shows that no matter how much the police increase the security in the city - not everything can be stopped," said Dr. John Scibilia, executive director of Lutheran Disaster Response New York (LDRNY). "These random acts of violence can still occur."
Scibilia said LDRNY will take this event as a way to remind its supporters and the public to be prepared for anything. "We will certainly remind people again about being cautious and reporting things to police. It's also a reminder to be aware of what’s around you at all times."
Peter Gudaitis agreed. "We're certainly reminded of our vulnerability by this," said Gudaitis, executive director of New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS).
He added that the emotional toll from this event should be monitored as well. "I think our response in the moment is more in the mental health and spiritual care arena. The message of fear obviously is what we’re very concerned about."
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