NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - A 73-year-old landlord picked up a package from one of his properties in Springfield Gardens, Queens, and it exploded in his hands, the NYPD said.
The blast burned the man's hands and face and 80 percent of his body, police said. The man was rushed to Nassau University Medical Center in critical condition.
"Nobody wanted to get closer to the house because they didn't know if it was going to continue booming off," a neighbor said. "The firefighters came. They put a cloak on him and he just stood there waiting for the ambulance."
Police officers, detectives, the bomb squad, arson investigators, firefighters, the FBI, the ATF, and U.S. postal investigators all congregated on this block to investigate.
"There is substantial evidence left from this device which appears to be a victim-actuated device," NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said. "In other words, when he opened it, the explosion occurred."
Police said the device left behind a residue of black powder and other evidence for investigators to sift through. But police found no signs of shrapnel from the low-explosive blast.
The NYPD described the package containing the explosive as a cylinder about the size of an oatmeal container. It had been sitting on the porch of the home for about a week.
Boyce said the man owns the home but rents it to two families and does not live there himself.