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Terrified Man Who Fled New York Blast Immediately Returned To Help Victims

He ran about half a block before turning around.

20/09/2016 3:53 AM AEST | Updated September 20, 2016 04:02

In the immediate aftermath of the explosion that rocked Manhattan on Saturday night, a bystander who initially fled the blast returned to the scene and offered help to the victims.

Ramon Lopez, 43, calmed stunned individuals who had been hit by metal shards and led one of them to an ambulance, USA Today reports.

He also filmed the experience, which you can watch in the video below. (Warning: Content is graphic.)

Lopez was on West 23rd and Sixth Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood when a homemade explosive filled with shrapnel detonated. Lopez ran about a half-block until he decided to turn around and help.

The first person he spotted was a woman with bloodstained clothes and an eye injury. In the video, she can be heard saying: “What’s wrong with my eye? I heard an explosion and I fell.”

As Lopez leads her to emergency personnel, he speaks reassuringly to her: “I’m holding you,” he says. “You’re OK, nothing’s going to happen to you.”

He also ran into a woman who had a small spherical fragment lodged in her arm.

“I was telling [the victims] it was minor, but it was major,” he told USA Today of their injuries. “If I told them it was major they would collapse.”

Twenty-nine people were injured in the explosion, which occurred around 8:30 p.m. Sept. 17. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted the next day that all the victims had been accounted for and released from the hospital. There were no fatalities.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, the 28-year-old suspect wanted in connection with the explosion, was arrested Monday morning in Linden, New Jersey, after a shootout with police.

Rahami is also believed to be linked to a small bomb that went off near a five-kilometer race in New Jersey on Saturday morning and an unexploded pressure cooker bomb found near the scene of the Chelsea blast.

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