CHELSEA — A Chelsea photographer who spotted the bomb on West 27th Street after another exploded, injuring 29 people on Saturday initially thought the device she found was a junked science experiment, she said.
Jane Schreibman, who lives on West 27th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, discovered a second bomb about 15 yards away from her home just hours after the first explosion rocked 23rd Street, she said.
She first saw the device, which she described as a pressure cooker with a tangle of wires connected to a cellphone, as she was walking out of her home at about 10:15 p.m. on Saturday, she said.
“I’m used to seeing a lot of crazy objects and thought it was some kind of weird science experiment,” said Schriebman, 66. “People throw out all kinds of things.”
She walked past the device to get a glimpse of the scene of the explosion on West 23rd Street, but she was nagged by thoughts of the NYPD's ubiquitous "See something, say something" ads, she said.
So she turned back to take another look, just in case, she said.
“In the subway, with those ads, there’s that thought in your brain all the time,” she said. “I thought it would be irresponsible not to call because it did look suspicious.”
Standing over the bomb, her suspicions grew, she said.
The first thing that struck her as odd the second time around was that the pot was just sitting there, not placed with any other trash. And she knew from news reports about the Boston Marathon that pressure cookers can be used to make improvised explosive devices.
She ran into her apartment to call 911, she said.
When police arrived, they told her to keep away. “They shouted ‘Run! Get off the block!” Schriebman said.
Investigators used a robot to disarm the bomb and removed it to a firing range in The Bronx, according to police. No one was injured.
Despite her close call with the device and the bombing several blocks away, Schreibman said she's more grateful than unnerved.
“Bad things always happen, and you’re just lucky when they don’t affect you,” she said. “You just have to go forward.”