CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - A University of Miami student lost part of his left leg after he stepped on a homemade firework in New York’s Central Park, Sunday morning, according to officials.

Eighteen-year-old Connor Golden was injured while he and two friends were climbing rocks in the park, near East 60th Street and Fifth Avenue, at around 11 a.m. As the victim was getting down, he jumped off, and his foot set off a loud explosion.

“We don’t know. We don’t know what happened,” a witness told reporters soon after the blast. “There was a small explosion, then dust.”

“It certainly wasn’t a car backfiring,” said witness John Murphy.

Witnesses ran to help the injured music student while others called 911. According to the Associated Press, “The 11 a.m. blast on the east side of Central Park could be heard for blocks, leaving some with the belief that it was part of a July Fourth celebration.”

Officials said Golden was conscious but in shock, and severely injured.

“It was blown in half,” said Murphy, referring to Golden’s left foot. “We just stayed with the young man and comforted him until the EMS arrived.”

The bomb squad responded to the scene as New York Police controlled panic in the park. K-9s made a sweep for other explosives in the area but did not find any others.

Investigators said the teen landed on some type of homemade firework.

Detectives worked to find who made it and how it got there, but they ruled out terrorism early on. “We do not have any evidence of a constructed device or commercial grade fireworks,” said New York Police Chief John O’Connell. “We believe this could have been put here as some sort of experiment.”

According to the Associated Press, the firework that exploded was created by someone with a basic knowledge of chemistry, but was not designed to intentionally hurt anyone.

Golden’s grandfather, Terence Golden, spoke to 7News over the phone from his home in Maryland. “He’s a big rock climber. He loves to rock climb,” he said.

Golden had been home with family in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Alexandria for the summer. He had gone to New York City with friends for the holiday weekend.

Doctors attempted to save Golden’s left foot but were unsuccessful. “He ended up having his amputation up to below his knee,” said Golden’s grandfather.

And while Golden heals, the University of Miami released a statement that reads in part, “The University of Miami’s thoughts and prayers are with Connor Golden as he recovers from this horrific accident that took place in Central Park, Sunday morning. We will provide Connor and his family with complete support through his recovery and rehabilitation.”

As of Sunday night, Golden was listed in stable condition.

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