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Car bomb found in New York’s Times Square
New York, May 2 (Agencies):
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Published on 3 May. 2010 12:53 AM IST
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New York City police have defused an improvised car bomb parked in Times Square, one of the city’s busiest tourist areas, officials say.
They say propane tanks, fireworks, petrol, and a clock device were removed from a parked sports utility vehicle. Part of the district - where many theatres are sited - was sealed off.
Both US President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg praised the quick response by the New York Police Department.
“We are very lucky,” Mr Bloomberg told reporters. “Thanks to alert New Yorkers and professional police officers, we avoided what could have been a very deadly event.” Thousands of tourists were evacuated from the area after a T-shirt vendor alerted the police when he spotted smoke coming from a Nissan Pathfinder.
Heavily armed police and emergency vehicles then shut down many of the busiest streets in Manhattan, which were filled with theatregoers in the heart of Broadway. Many who had gathered on 43rd Street and Broadway were shocked to hear that the iconic Times Square had been sealed off due to a suspected car bomb. Theatregoers reported that police officers had come onto the stage during and after some of the Broadway shows to ask the audience if they had any information about the vehicle.
He said the bomb “looked amateurish” but could have exploded, adding that the incident was a “reminder of the dangers that we face”.
Correspondents say the New York City Police Department is on constant alert after a series of alleged terror plots in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
“The NYPD bomb squad has rendered safe an improvised car bomb,” said New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
“I think the intent was to cause a significant ball of fire,” he added.
The alert was triggered when a street vendor saw smoke coming from a Nissan Pathfinder parked on 45th Street and Seventh Avenue at about 1830 (2230 GMT) on Saturday.
The vehicle had its engine running and hazard lights flashing, officials said.
Police shut down several blocks of Times Square, as well as subway lines, while a robotic arm broke windows of the vehicle.

 
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