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Landlord who was burned after package exploded in hands dies, police say

A Queens landlord was investigating a package on the stoop of his building when a device inside detonated, fatally injuring him.
The home on 222nd Street where George Wray suffered fatal injuries after a package containing an explosive detonated in his hands. (Photo via Google Maps)
The home on 222nd Street where George Wray suffered fatal injuries after a package containing an explosive detonated in his hands. (Photo via Google Maps)

An elderly Queens landlord set on fire by an exploding package has died, police confirmed.

George Wray, 73, picked up a delivery which had been sitting on his building’s stoop untouched for days, but he never expected it would explode in his hands. The blast, which occurred on Friday, sent him to his knees in agony, covering 80 percent of his body in severe burns. On Monday, he was pronounced dead at Nassau University Medical Center.

Now police are investigating who the package was meant for, since it is believed Wray was not the target. However, Chief Robert Boyce said there are “a lot of strong leads,” according to NBC4.

The building's residents hadn’t opened the package because it was not addressed to them. Instead, it listed only a first name, and it is thought that it never went through the mail, ABC7 reported at the time of the incident.

According to Boyce, the low-explosive device contained no shrapnel and was detonated when the top of its cylindrical container was opened.