NEW YORK—Part of Times Square were shut down and evacuated Saturday night by police due to bomb threat. A potentially deadly car bomb ignited, releasing smoke, but failed to explode.
Anthony Ogburn was on the scene in Times Square, celebrating his 50th birthday. He heard that a man, a regular in the area, had tipped off the police that a car was "smoking" in the vicinity of Times Square.
"Everything was cleared out, just like that," Ogburn told The Epoch Times, referring to the streets that were evacuated by police. "Only in New York!"
NYPD Officer Wayne Rhatigan was the officer that was tipped off. Circling the vehicle, he "smelled gunpowder and knew it might blow."
"I thought it might blow any second," he told the New York Daily News.
Using a robot, police secured the vehicle, and removed three propane tanks, fireworks, two filled 5-gallon gasoline containers, and two clocks with batteries, electrical wire and more from an SUV, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the Associated Press.
Sometime after 6pm, an SUV appeared to be smoking, having caught fire. When assessing the situation, Police found that the license plates on the SUV did not match that vehicle. Further investigation revealed a suspicious package in the back of the vehicle's back seat.
The call was made around 6:30 p.m., and the SUV was parked near 44th street and 7th ave. Police blocked off Times Square from 42nd st to 47th along Broadway. As of 11:00pm the police still had that part of Times Square blocked off to vehicles.
Aside from disrupting traffic and pedestrians, the bomb scare also delayed many Broadway shows in the area.