Thousands of people were evacuated from the area Saturday night after a T-shirt vendor alerted police of a smoking Nissan Pathfinder that was haphazardly parked in the heart of Times Square. Police found a homemade bomb that was made with three propane tanks, fireworks, two 5-gallon gasoline containers, and two clocks with batteries. A police spokesman said the device seemed to have started detonating but malfunctioned. Although there are reports of someone running away from the scene, police have no leads. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the device "looked amateurish" and the New York Times cites an expert saying that if the device had actually worked "it would be more of an incendiary event" rather than an explosion. Still, that hardly means it wasn't potentially dangerous. "We avoided what could have been a very deadly event," Bloomberg said. The Associated Press points out that while the device may have been assembled badly, Islamic militants have been using propane and compressed gas for years "to enhance the force of explosives." Most of the area was reopened to the public early Sunday morning, but there was still a heavy police presence in the area, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Daily Telegraph reports word that police are investigating a possible link with the recent controversy involving South Park because the bomb was left near Viacom's offices. There are also reportedly "striking similarities" between the bomb that was left in Times Square and two that were planted by Islamic terrorists outside a London nightclub in 2007.
Credits: New York Times