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D.C. Area Man's Leg Amputated After He Steps On Explosive In Central Park

NEW YORK (WJZ)--Investigators are trying to figure out how an explosive ended up in New York City's Central Park.

Paramedics rush 18-year-old Connor Golden, of Virginia, out of Central Park after stepping on the apparent homemade device.

Investigators say he was walking with two of his friends when he climbed down a rock--detonating the device.

The impact was so severe it nearly severed his foot.

"His friends claim he was just walking on the rocks and stepped on something," said a nearby witness.

Golden was visiting from Fairfax, Virginia, with friends.

"We don't know what happened. There was a small explosion and then dust," the friends said. "[It was] beyond the caliber of fireworks just based on what we heard."

Just yards away, cameras captured the loud sound while covering the funeral of Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

"It sounded kind of like a cannon went off. Like I thought it was maybe like a 4th of July festivity," said another witness.

Investigators do not believe the incident is connected to terrorism.

"There's nothing to indicate that this was an explosive device placed or put in this area with a specific intent to harm any individuals," said Lt. Mark Torre, NYPD's Bomb Squad commanding officer.

Golden's grandmother got the news in Maryland. She says he was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he already had one round of surgery.

"Surgery was to remove his foot and he will have a second surgery to remove farther up his leg, as I understand it, under his knee," said the victim's grandmother. "His life will never be the same and I'm very sad."

Police have cleared golden and his two friends of any suspicious activity.

The NYPD suspects the device may have been in the park for a day or more.

They're using K-9 units to search for any other possible explosive material.

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