May 1st, 2010
11:31 PM ET

NYC's Times Square shut down over suspicious car

Several blocks around New York's Times Square were closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic Saturday night after a police officer saw smoke emanating from a box inside a parked car, according to authorities.

New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne told CNN that the shutdown began after a foot patrol officer passed by a Nissan Pathfinder with Connecticut plates on 45th Street between and 7th and 8th Avenues. Browne said the officer noticed a box inside the car with smoke coming out.

Browne said officials at the scene were using a robot to search inside the car. The police department's public information office said the box and other items found in the search are not confirmed at this time to be a bomb.

The Marriott Marquee Hotel wasn't allowing anyone to enter or leave the hotel Saturday night, and at least one nearby restaurant, TGI Friday's, had closed to customers and was evacuating staff.

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Filed under: Times Square Car Bomb • U.S.
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. Aaron

    hissy fit? a crude car bomb has been found in Times Square in NYC. What's wrong with some of you people. A hissy you work for CNN or what?

    May 2, 2010 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. JK

    It sure is windy in Tennessee tonight. Meanwhile......

    May 2, 2010 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Aaron

    no kidding JK... wow! This is crazy.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Elliott

    I am sitting in the Marriott Marquis New York on the 5th floor right now. The NYC police decided around 11:30pm that the entire south side (45th street) of the hotel should be evacuated, even though the car's contents were supposedly neutralized hours ago. Don't know why they waited till we were asleep to bang on our door at midnight and roust us out of bed. There are now some cots set up in the ballrooms and hallways and a few hundred people are sacked out on the few beds, along the walls on the floor, or chatting in seats here and there on both the 5tht and 6th floors. Sadly, a visiting Swiss tourist shared that her husband went out to do some shopping and has been stranded on 8th avenue, unable to get back into the hotel despite having his keycard. Her first trip in 30 years and this happens – welcome to our brave new world. Interestingly, the police were initially letting people back into the hotel if they showed their room keys, but that's been shut down. They seem to be escalating the level of security and control, which is of course easier as the night wears on and locals go home. Hoping to get some sleep tonight...

    May 2, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Tony

    Right on, Aaron.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. RC

    In spite of CNN's coverage, NYPD is taking this incident seriously...

    May 2, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tony

    You mean CNN's non-coverage, 217.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Pro

    CNN is going down down and down. Soon they will be competing with CSPAN.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. Tony

    215, what's the mood? I'm sure people are frightened? What have they/you heard? Anything?

    May 2, 2010 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. Aaron

    Pretty sad, but I am listening and watching MSNBC while reading CNN's posts. I think the fact that CNN isn't covering this is almost as big of a news story as the story itself.

    What's the show on CNN's Sunday morning that reports on news coverage? It'll be interesting to see what they have to say.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. JK

    Kudos to NYPD for being on top of the situation. Nobody got hurt and the response seems spot on. Even if you are in your hotel room, it would be pretty tough to sleep with the bomb squad downstairs poking at that truck.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tony


    The explosive materials were discovered about 6:30 by a mounted police officer who saw a box with smoke pouring from it in the back of the Pathfinder, Mr. Browne said. The officer called for backup, and the Fire Department and bomb squad.

    The Pathfinder’s back window was broken out, Mr. Browne said, and the police sent in a “robotic device” to “observe it.”

    Mr. Browne said gunpowder had been found in the vehicle, but not a high-grade explosive. The timing device was a clock attached to wires. The gasoline was in cans and there appeared to be two or three propane tanks.

    Kevin B. Barry, a former supervisor in the New York Police Department bomb squad, said he was told it was an improvised explosive device. But somehow, he said, the ignition source “failed to function the main charge.”

    May 2, 2010 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. Aaron

    Thanks Elliot. Keep us updated! We appreciate you letting us know what's going on.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  14. Tony


    With all due respect to NYPD, the officer found out after the bomb (failed to) detonate.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tony


    A New York City firefighter who told Reuters he arrived early on the scene said that the vehicle was smoking and that he saw “a flash” from the back of the it. “We put two and two together” and the evacuation was ordered, he said.

    May 2, 2010 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
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