May 1, 2010
A suspicious vehicle abandoned in Times Square that appeared to contain materials that could be used to make an improvised bomb triggered a massive
police response and a partial evacuation of New York City's theater district.
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Part of New York City's Times Square area was evacuated Saturday, May 1, after a suspicious vehicle was found there on fire.
Police activity was going on for more than three hours, and investigators said they were taking the situation seriously.
According to mutiple sources, however, the situation was still fluid.
Conflicting reports were coming in to police officials as to what exactly was suspicious about the vehicle and its contents.
Some reports noted the vehicle was on fire. Others noted it contained metal boxes.
According to one account, the vehicle was driven into Times Square, was left with its flashers on and then the driver left.
After the fire in the vehicle was reported at around 6:35 p.m., police closed off an area in Times Square near 44th Street and 7th Avenue.
A short time later, the immediate area around 45th and Broadway was evacuated, including some theaters on 45th Street, while in at least one theater
audience members inside were not allowed to leave.
Other theaters delayed opening as Broadway from 44th to 47th Streets was closed.
In at least one theater, audience members were not allowed to leave while the investigation continued.
Police told ABC New York station WABC-TV the license plates on the vehicle, a Nissan Pathfinder, didn't match to the make of the SUV, which raised
Shortly after 7:00 o'clock, witnesses told WABC-TV 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.
The NYPD quickly blocked off 44th through 48th Street and sent in the robot from the bomb squad to check for explosives.
A live Web cam feed at 46th Street and Broadway showed the streets had been cleared of pedestrians. A line of police cars blocked one street and
officers paced on a sidewalk.
The NYPD Bomb Squad was called and blew out the vehicles windows in order to investigate. The noise could be heard for a couple of blocks from the
"The police evacuated us," Ruth, a visitor from Philadelphia, said.
"We can't get to our show," said another tourist.
Times Square remained closed as police continued to investigate late Saturday night.