NEW YORK’S Time Square has been closed and tourists evacuated after a bomb went off at a nearby subway station.
The detained man suffered non life-threatening injuries in the blast and is the only person to have been hurt. It is thought his device may have malfunctioned and was not intended to detonate when it did. A source told the New York Times the man was a would-be suicide attacker with wires attached to him, carrying a pipe bomb and battery pack.
US Journalist Alex Silverman tweeted: ““Times Square is closed,” a counterterror cop tells tourists. Port authority bus terminal, Times Square and PABT subway station closed. “1 in custody, 1 injured after explosion. Massive but orderly response.”
Shalom Spring added: “Was very eerie to see the Times Square station empty at rush hour as we passed it by…” Scores of police and fire vehicles have descended on the area. Terrified bystanders said there was a stampede as they were evacuated from the area.
Designer Chelsea La Salle tweeted: “Just was stuck in a running stampede at port authority bus terminal due to bomb scare. “Cops EVERYWHERE.”
The Port Authority, a ten minute walk from Times Square, is a major transport hub where buses and trains operate from on the west side of Midtown Manhattan.
Twitter user Mike was at the bus depot near Times Square when the bomb went off.
Tweeting a video as tourists were evacuated from the building, he said: “They’re evacuating the port authority at times square. I just arrived by bus and got quickly ushered out. “Apparently a bomb squad is taking care of an unidentified package.”
The New York Fire Department said it was responding to an incident at Port Authority in Manhattan but revealed no further details. New York police tweeted they had been called to “reports of an explosion of unknown origin at 42nd Street and 8th Ave.”
Unconfirmed reports on ABC news, citing a New York Police Department source, said the explosion may have been caused by a pipe bomb.