N.J. Train Explosive: Was Ukrainian Mykyta Panasenko Building Bombs Or Fireworks?

By Staff Reporter on April 26, 2013 11:22 AM EDT

NJ Train Explosive
Mykyta Panasenko is charged for bringing dangerous explosives aboard NJ train (Photo: Creative Commons)

Police confirmed yesterday that explosives were found aboard a Suffern-bound NJ Transit Train leaving from Hoboken on April 7. According to NJ.com, authorities charged 27-year-old Mykyta Panasenko with possession of destructive devices and creating a risk of widespread damage. A criminal complaint revealed that the NJ train explosives were constructed from a cylinder that contained Pyrodex, a black powder substitute.

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While the incident occurred before the Boston Marathon bombings, information regarding the NJ train explosive incident did not surface until the Jersey Journal published a report on Thursday. What's more, Mykyta Panasenko wasn't charged for bringing the explosive devices onboard until April 16, one day after the Boston Marathon bombing. Panasenko was also charged on April 15 for the possession of explosives at his residence.

According to a statement Thursday evening, authorities have determined that none of Panasenko's explosive devices were completed.

"There is no indication at this point of the investigation that he intended to detonate a device in his building or on the transit system. Police recovered components of an explosive device at his home, not a completed device. However, the investigation revealed that he did transport completed devices from his home at some point."

According to Jersey City Police Deputy Chief Peter Nalbach, authorities were tipped by an individual who knows Panasenko. The New York Police Department and the FBI then promptly sent the intel to Jersey City Police Department's Bomb Squad.

Entering into Panasenko's apartment, the police reportedly found substantial materials that could potentially make an explosive device. The search in Panasenko's home and the ongoing investigation that followed eventually led to the NJ train explosive discovery.

Hudson County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Gene Rubino announced Mykyta Panasenko was eventually charged for possessing explosive devices at home and aboard a train on a summons and was released. If charged, Panasenko's most serious sentence will result to a maximum of five years in prison. Mykyta Panasenko's first court appearance on the charges occurred on Wednesday at Jersey City's Central Judicial Processing Court.

Defending his innocence, Mykyta Panasenko of Kiev, Ukraine, told the Daily News on Thursday that the devices were fireworks, not bombs. Panasenko explained the fireworks were taken into the woods outside Suffern on April 7 for fun.

Finally, Reuters clarifies that there are no connections cited between the NJ train explosive incident and the Boston Marathon bombings that claimed the lives of three victims and injured 264 others.

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