Police have discovered a car bomb in a Nissan Pathfinder in the heart of New York City this evening. The discovery soon led to the evacuation of Times Square.
At this time, not much else is known but all of the top news stations in the country have gone to breaking news coverage. Conflicting reports of a man who was possibly seen fleeing the scene. Seems those reports are false.
I’m sure there’s more to come, including a press conference with Mayor Bloomberg. Stay tuned!
From the Associated Press:
Police evacuated buildings and cleared streets of thousands of tourists around New York City’s Times Square after finding an apparent car bomb in a parked SUV.
New York City police say a mounted police officer noticed smoke coming from the SUV at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. A law enforcement official tells The Associated Press that bomb investigators found propane tanks, powder and an apparent timing device inside the vehicle. The official wasn’t authorized to release the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Police evacuated several residential and commercial buildings and cleared several streets of thousands of tourists milling around on a warm Saturday night.
Several blocks around New York’s Times Square were closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic Saturday night after a police officer saw smoke emanating from a box inside a parked car, according to authorities.
New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne told CNN that the shutdown began after a foot patrol officer passed by a Nissan Pathfinder with Connecticut plates on 45th Street between and 7th and 8th Avenues. Browne said the officer noticed a box inside the car with smoke coming out.
Browne said officials at the scene were using a robot to search inside the car. The police department’s public information office said the box and other items found in the search are not confirmed at this time to be a bomb.
From ABC News:
The incident began around 6:35 p.m., when the Fire Department of New York responded to a car fire in the vicinity of 45th Street and 7th Avenue, and because of suspicious characteristics of the vehicle, the police department ESU was notified.
The car was identified as a Nissan Pathfinder with a Connecticut or unmatched license plate.
Bomb techs from the FBI’s New York office were on scene with the NYPD Bomb Squad to aid in the investigation.
Inside the SUV, investigators found three propane cylinders, two five-gallon jerry cans of gasoline, a canister of powder, electrical components and an alarm clock.
From the New York Times:
“It appears to be a car bomb left in a Pathfinder between Seventh and Eighth” Avenues on 45th Street, said Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman.
The device, he said, contained “explosive elements” that included “propane tanks, some kind of powder, gasoline and a timing device.”
“This is very much an active investigation,” he said.
The police would not say whether they had any suspects, and did not say if they had determined what might have been behind the event.