Saturday, May 01, 2010

Bomb Squad Investigating Suspicious Car Fire In Times Square

A suspicious car fire has closed streets in and around Times Square as the NYPD and the bomb squad investigate.
Police said Saturday the bomb squad was investigating the contents of the car on 45th Street.

They say the block was closed between Seventh and Eighth avenues as a precaution.

A webcam at 46th Street and Broadway showed the streets had been cleared of pedestrians. A line of police cars blocked one street.

Police say a call of a car fire came in about 6:30 p.m.
Broadway is closed between 44th and 46th Street, as can be seen with the police cars on the photo above. The vehicle, apparently an SUV, was seen smoking in the area and fire and police responded. Something must have gotten the attention of the police, since they called in the bomb squad. A car fire by itself wouldn't be cause for concern, but this kind of response suggests that there was something more here. The investigators found flammable materials and combustibles at Times Square.

ABC News in NYC is reporting that the SUV appeared to contain propane canisters and gasoline canisters in the trunk. With its location, had those canisters gone off, it could have resulted in significant casualties.

The driver of the vehicle is nowhere to be found and the license plates don't match the vehicle, increasing the likelihood that this may have been a terror incident.

Times Square is one of the busiest locales in Manhattan, and there are continuing crowds in the area gawking at the situation.

As they say, developing.

Bear in mind too that Thomson-Reuters HQ is down the block from the incident and the NYT HQ is a few blocks away. It's the heart of Midtown.

Here's NYT's latest:
Police officials said a witness reported a running Nissan Pathfinder with Connecticut plates, with smoke coming out of the back. A bomb squad robot popped the back latch of the Pathfinder, and officers found what they initially believed was a bomb. The vehicle was found to contain explosives, gasoline, propane and burned wires, a Fire Department officer told Reuters.

The officer, who did not give his name because he was not authorized to speak to the news media, said that a man was seen fleeing the S.U.V. and that the police evacuated the area in case there were other threats nearby.

The officer said that the police were treating the vehicle as a “failed device.” The police were searching for a suspect.

A federal official said that it was not considered a terrorist threat and that the New York Police Department had told the Department of Homeland Security to stand down.
That last bit is... odd.

Who exactly has a car that contains gasoline, propane, and explosives and yet isn't considered a terrorist threat?

No comments: