Police evacuated one of the busiest commuter and shopping areas in New York City’s Time Square after a pipe bomb went off in a Port Authority Bus Terminal.
The area, which is home to the transportation hub as well as stores such as Foot Locker, Skechers and Steve Madden, was plunged into chaos as police responded to an explosion inside the terminal on Monday morning. The New York City Police Department reported at 7:44 a.m. EST an explosion “of unknown origin” had occurred in a passageway beneath 42nd Street and between Seventh and Eighth avenues.
The terminal has since been evacuated and massive delays were reported along the city’s major subway and bus routes. According to the NYPD, the entire area between 45th to 40th streets and Seventh and Ninth avenues has been blocked off due to an investigation. As a result, stores in the area have been unable to open for their regular hours of operation.
A suspect was placed in custody after police responded to a man who appeared to have a pipe bomb strapped to his chest, according to a NYPD tweet. As of 10 a.m. EST, the New York Fire Department had reported four minor, non-life-threatening injuries. One of those injured was the suspect, the Associated Press reported.
The explosion occurred at the peak of the morning rush hour, when people were running through the busy transit hub and retail workers were just starting to arrive for their shifts. Social media reports showed people running in panic and AP noted that the passage where the explosion had occurred was filled with smoke.
Although authorities have stabilized the area, the NYPD advised people to stay clear of the Port Authority terminal and the surrounding Times Square area for now.
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