The details are still a bit sketchy, but NYPD has evacuated Times Square after discovering a car bomb.
Police said a Nissan Pathfinder at West 45th Street and Seventh Avenue was loaded with a bomb made of electrical components, three propane gas tanks and two additional gas canisters. They received the call about the suspicious vehicle around 6:30 p.m. and blocked the area from West 43rd to 47th streets along Broadway and Seventh Avenue with metal railings. Parts of 48th Street were also closed.
A press conference from NYPD is scheduled momentarily.
UPDATE (22:24 PST): Apparently, the bomb had been activated. The vehicle was smoking, and an NYPD mounted officer kicked off the evacuation. No injuries, and NYPD cleared Times Square in record time. I suspect NYPD will have some questions for the vehicle’s owners, but it seems the license plate on the vehicle didn’t match the one originally issued.
According to MSNBC, cameras captured the car being parked at approx. 6:30PM ET and smoke coming out a few minutes later.
UPDATE (23:19 EST): Press Conference:
An T-Shirt vendor, who is a Viet Vet, called the cops. Cops arrived, saw smoke, and evacuated the area, then called the bomb squad.
Bomb materials and such were found in the car.
It seems like the materials, though, are evidence of an amateur job. Gas cans, propane tanks, consumer fireworks, etc. In other words, it wasn’t stuffed to the gills with nitrates.
Mayor Bloomberg says the set-up was “amateurish”. So, it seems like more of a whack-job doing something nutty, than some sort of al-Qaeda deal.