Connor Golden Photos: Teen’s Leg Blown Off In 4th Of July Explosion

Connor Golden Photos: Teen’s Leg Blown Off In 4th Of July Explosion
Central Park mariko CC BY 2.0

A teenager’s leg was severed after he stepped on what has been determined was a homemade firecracker in Central Park on Sunday.


The victim, identified as 18-year-old Connor Golden, was with his friends who were climbing rocks near east 60th Street and Fifth Avenue. Golden stepped on the firecracker that blew his leg off at 11 a.m., the police said.

The device had been in the park for a day. Police and authorities are investigating who the device belongs to.

“We were climbing down the rocks, Connor was 6 feet behind me and all of sudden I felt the explosion on my back,” Thomas Hinds, one of Golden’s friends who was part of the group that was climbing the rocks, said.

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“The explosion sounded like a gunshot next to my ears. I turned around and saw his foot which wasn’t completely blown off but was severely mutilated. My other friend Matthew was behind Connor and all he saw was massive amount of dirt go flying up in the air.”

As reported by WABC-TV, Golden sustained a severe leg injury and was transported to Bellevue. He is currently undergoing surgery, a possible amputation. While he is in serious condition, he remains stable.

The NYPD bomb squad responded to the scene to determine whether the explosion had been caused by a firecracker. They confirmed “explosive experimentation” had resulted in the blast that blew off Golden’s leg.

“It was a homemade device. They probably tried to light it on Friday night, but it didn’t go off because of the rain,” a source with the law enforcement said, as reported by New York Post. “[Investigators] found wet matches near it. It probably just went off because of the friction of him stepping on it.”

The explosion from the firecracker could be heard outside the funeral of Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, according to witnesses.

John Murphy, a vacationer visiting town, went up to the scene after the incident. He said Golden’s friends were “in shock” after they saw the damage caused by the explosion. “[Golden] was severely injured,” Golden said. “His left leg was severely damaged, all bone and muscle.”

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