One dead, 19 injured in Times Square car accident | 2017-05-18 |

One dead, 19 injured in Times Square car accident

Sun Online Desk     18th May, 2017 11:37:08 printer

One dead, 19 injured in Times Square car accident

A car plowed into a crowd of pedestrians in New York's bustling Times Square on Thursday, leaving one person dead and at least 19 other injured in what officials said was an accident.


A police source said that the 26-year-old man driving the vehicle was in custody and the area has been sealed off.


The accident took place as the vehicle reportedly jumped the kerb at 7th Avenue and 45th St near the city's popular tourist spot, according to the New York Police Department.


The maroon sedan vehicle, travelling at high speed, crashed into the group of people and ended up flipping onto its side on the sidewalk, before ambulances and police descended on the area, an AFP photographer said.


Photos showed the vehicle partially on its side on the pavement with smoke and flames spewing from the bonnet.


The incident sparked instant jitters after recent deadly car-ramming attacks in London, Berlin and the French city of Nice, but officials said early evidence did not point to a terror link.


Police reportedly said the driver "lost control" and the collision appeared to be an accident.


"It is believed to be an isolated incident, it remains under investigation," New York police said on Twitter.


They also added the incident was not connected to terrorism, CBS reported.


CBS reports that NYPD says the man in custody is suspected of driving while impaired, a charge often linked to drug or alcohol use.


But a witness told media the vehicle drove against traffic before hitting the kerb and striking pedestrians.


However, the FBI is investigating the incident.


Famous across the world for its bright lights and advertising billboards, Times Square is typically packed with tourists and office workers. It lies in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and leads to Broadway, New York's famed theater district.


Times Square was the scene of the most serious security alert in America's most populous city since the September 11, 2001 attacks when Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani immigrant, planted a car bomb at the intersection on May 1, 2010.


His explosive device failed to detonate and he was arrested shortly after boarding a flight to the Middle East. He pleaded guilty and said he was aiming to avenge deaths from US missiles fired from drones operating over Pakistan.


Source: BBC, AFP