En bilbombe ble lørdag kveld funnet på Times Square i New York, kanskje verdens mest kjente plass. Det steg røyk fra en bil. En bombeenhet ble tilkalt, og inne i bilen ble det funnet gassbeholdere rigget som en bombe. Tusenvis av mennesker måtte evakueres.

A car bomb in an abandoned sports utility vehicle parked in New York’s Times Square sparked a mass evacuation of the area on Saturday evening.

Armed police were called after a mounted police officer noticed smoke coming from the black Nissan Pathfinder at 6.30 pm local time (2230) GMT, followed shortly afterwards by a small flash.

Bomb investigators found propane tanks, powder and an apparent timing device inside the car, after the back window was broken by a white robotic police arm, according to Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman.

The bomb was being dismantled by officers at the scene.

«It appears to be a car bomb left in a Pathfinder between Seventh and Eighth,» said Mr Browne.

«This is very much an active investigation,» he said.

A man was seen fleeing the area shortly after smoke was detected pouring from the car. A police official said police had evacuated several blocks around the popular tourist area in the center of midtown Manhattan in case there were other devices.

En føderal tjenestemann sier til New York Times at det ikke regnes som en terroraksjon, så langt. Bomben var mer som en brannbombe.

A federal official said that domestic security officials had been informed that the event did not appear to be a terrorist threat. The official referred all requests for additional information to New York City police.

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 two five-gallon cans and there appeared to be three propane tanks, like those used for barbecue grills.

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.»

Mr. Barry said that if it had functioned, «it would be more of an incendiary event» than an explosion.

Police find car bomb in Times Square

Police Find a Car Bomb in Times Square and Clear Area