Breaking News: New York Police Department discovered a car bomb in an abandoned light s.u.v in Time Square on Saturday evening. A T-shirt vendor saw the vehicle smoking and notified an NYPD officer on patrol. The officer contacted the Fire Department of New York. The fire department put out the fire. The police discover an amateur car bomb inside the vehicle. The NYPD evacuated the area as hundreds of people in Midtown Manhattan out for an evening of movies, Broadway shows,dancing on a spring Saturday night.
Early Sunday, New York City police removed bomb-making materials from the parked sports utility vehicle, including propane tanks and a clock suspected to be a timing device.
“This is a bomb. This is a car bomb. A crude device that includes gasoline, propane and is wired together,” New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said.
ABC News has learned about the vehicle and the bomb materials:
According to ABC News, inside the Nissan Pathfinder police found: Three propane cylinders, two five gallon jerry cans of gasoline, a canister of powder, electrical components and an alarm clock.
Browne said gunpowder was found, but not a high-grade explosive.
No arrest has been made in the case. Various bomb squads from the NYPD and FBI are operation a joint investigation.
Meanwhile, Time Square evacuated and streets in the immediate area were shut down.
The NYPD quickly blocked off 44th through 48th Street and sent in the robot from the bomb squad to check for explosives.
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.
Theaters on 45th Street were evacuated. Other theaters delayed opening or cancelled their shows.
Shelly Carlisle, of Portland, Ore., said police crowded into her Broadway theater after the curtain closed on “Next to Normal,” a show on the same block where the SUV was found.
“At the end of the show, the police came in. We were told we had to leave,” Carlisle said. “They said there was a bomb scare.”
Time Square business remained closed at this time.
In the hours that followed, Broadway remained empty.
“This is hurting our business,” said one man.
“The police evacuated us,” Ruth, a visitor from Philadelphia, said.
“We can’t get to our show,” said another tourist.
But others watched and waited on the sideline. Some unable to get to their hotels, and others who could not get to a subway.
Witnesses told “Channel 7 Eyewitness News” of their experiences.
Witnesses said they heard an explosion, then saw smoke coming from the car.
“It was a boom and a puff of smoke,” one man said.
“I saw people running, turning tables,” Paula Delarrosa said.
Monika Vakulchik of Piscataway, New Jersey wrote on the Eyewitness News Facebook page, “My husband and I were about 20 feet from the vehicle when the first ‘mini explosion’ occurred around 6:15pm. People were diving to the ground and taking cover behind anything they could fine. People were screaming and some burst into tears. I, literally, ran out of my shoes (got them back). Everyone thought it was a gun shot at first, then realizing that the sound came from the abandoned car.”
A New York City firefighter told ABC News that the vehicle was smoking and also said he saw “a flash” from the back of the SUV. The firefighter said a “mini-explosion” occurred between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
“The SUV was smoking. There was a flash and we put two and two together” and an evacuation was ordered, he said.
Police are investigating a report that someone was seen running from the vehicle at some point, Browne said. The Nissan Pathfinder’s license plates do not match the car’s registration, he said.
The White House notified of the incident and other US cities have been place on high alert.
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