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Man, 72, burned when package explodes in Queens, NYPD says

NYPD and FDNY officials examine the front of

NYPD and FDNY officials examine the front of a home on 222nd Street in Queens after a package exploded and burned a 72-year-old man on Friday July 28, 2017. Credit: Jim Staubitser

A 72-year-old man was badly burned when he opened a package and it blew up in Queens on Friday, the NYPD said.

NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said the package detonated about 4:15 p.m. It was about the size and dimension of a Quaker Oats can and contained explosive black powder but no shrapnel, he said. It had been sitting outside a home on 222nd Street near the Brookville neighborhood for about seven days.

The man was taken to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow in critical condition with burns over 80 percent of his body, Boyce said.

Something may have been written on the package, Boyce said, but he declined to give details.

The injured man owned the house, which was occupied by two families, but did not live there himself, Boyce said. Police will speak to residents of the home, he said.

Investigators would canvass the scene for most of the night, he said. Police were joined by FDNY’s Hazmat team and investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Donna Harris, a spokeswoman for USPIS’ New York division, said the package did not appear to have come through the mail, but that the agency was still investigating.

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