A suspicious package left by a New York prison guard's mailbox exploded and seriously burned him when he opened it, authorities said Sunday as they worked to determine who sent it and why.
The 52-year-old officer was severely injured, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, in an explosion that stunned the small central New York town of Floyd. Cuomo called the blast "horrific," and local, state and federal agencies were investigating and trying to determine whether the blast was related to the victim's work.
"There are a lot of unanswered questions," Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol told reporters at a news conference. "And we're confident that with all of us working together, we can figure out who did this."
The corrections officer picked up the package around 8 a.m. near his mailbox, Maciol said, saying he couldn't give specifics about the explosive. Cuomo said the item blew up as the victim opened it.
Authorities aren't releasing the man's name. He's hospitalized in stable condition with burns on his hands and arms, according to Maciol.
The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision referred inquiries to the governor's office.
The explosion shook neighbors in the quiet town of about 3,800, a bedroom community for the old industrial cities of Rome and Utica. It's also near a prison, in Marcy.