N.J. man accused of taking explosives on train; he tells paper 'They were fireworks'

Story highlights

  • Police say a New Jersey man carried explosives on a commuter train
  • Mykyta Panasenko was arrested a week after the alleged incident
  • Components of an explosive device were found at his home, police say
A New Jersey man was arrested this month after authorities determined he had taken explosives onto a commuter train several days earlier, court documents show.
Authorities say their investigation determined that Mykyta Panasenko, 27, carried two improvised explosive devices aboard a Suffern, New York-bound New Jersey transit train on April 7. A criminal complaint filed on April 15, when Panasenko was arrested, indicates that the devices were constructed "from a cylinder containing Pyrodex," a form of black powder.
Common uses for black powder include as gunpowder in muzzle-loading guns, as a blasting powder and as a propellant in rockets for fireworks.
Panasenko did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.
But he told the New York Daily News, "They were fireworks."
Panasenko, who was released on his own recognizance following his arrest, said when FBI agents questioned him, he told them he had no bad intentions and did not know the devices were illegal.
"Obviously, it was a bad idea" to take them on the train, he told the newspaper.
Contrary to some media reports, Panasenko was not arrested on the train, and no completed explosive devices were recovered on the train or in Panasenko's home, according to a news release from the Jersey City Police Department.
Officers did, however, recover components of an explosive device at his home, according to Gene Rubino, spokesman for the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office.
He did not comment on what officials believe became of the devices Panasenko is alleged to have taken on the train.
Panasenko "did recklessly create a risk of widespread injury or damage to a building" by constructing the devices at his home, Rubino said.
The FBI and other federal and state agencies have been notified about the case, according to Rubino.
Panasenko is being charged with possession of a prohibited device and creating a risk of widespread damage.