Suspected car bomb in Times Sq

Police discover explosives, propane and a timing device in an SUV.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 2, 2010 08:13
1 minute read.
Crowd of onlookers at evacuated Times Square

Times Sq 311. (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

NEW YORK — Police found a car bomb in a parked sport utility vehicle Saturday evening in New York City's Times Square, then evacuated buildings and cleared streets of thousands of tourists in the landmark known as the "Crossroads of the World."

A mounted police officer noticed smoke coming from the sport utility vehicle at 6:30 p.m. (01:30 Israel time), police said. Bomb investigators found propane tanks, powder and an apparent timing device inside, according to a law enforcement official who wasn't authorized to release the information and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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Police evacuated several residential and commercial buildings and cleared the streets of people. Police were deployed around the area with heavy weapons on empty streets in the heart of midtown Manhattan that normally teem with thousands of theatergoers and tourists.

Some tourists reported hearing a small explosion hours after the car was first located.

FBI agents are on the scene with the New York Police Department, and the matter is being taken seriously, said Paul Bresson, head of the FBI's public affairs office at bureau headquarters in Washington.

The Homeland Security Department is aware of the situation, but the NYPD has it under control and is investigating, said a Homeland Security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is in progress.

The block that was closed is one of the prime blocks for Broadway shows, with seven theaters housing such big shows as "Billy Elliot" and "Lend Me a Tenor."

In December, a van without license plates parked in Times Square led police to block off part of the area for about two hours. A police robot examined the vehicle, and clothes, racks and scarves were found inside.

In March 2008, a hooded bicyclist hurled an explosive device at a military recruiting center in the heart of Times Square, producing a flash, smoke and full-scale emergency response. No suspect was ever identified.


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