Woman killed and 22 injured as car hits Times Square crowd

Media captionFootage shows a man being arrested near to the crashed red car

A woman is dead and 22 other people injured after a car sped on to a pavement in New York City’s Times Square, the fire department says.

The 26-year-old driver, a US Navy veteran and US citizen, is in custody.

“There is no indication that this was an act of terrorism,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The maroon Honda jumped the kerb and travelled for three blocks before crashing.

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

Media captionFootage from the scene shows the injured being tended to by emergency crews

As-it-happened: Times Square emergency

In pictures: Times Square car crash

The crash follows recent deadly car-ramming attacks in London, Berlin and the French city of Nice.

Media captionNYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: “There is no indication that this was an act of terrorism”

The FBI is investigating the incident at the Midtown Manhattan tourist venue, but so far officials say there is no terror link.

NYPD said the suspect, Richard Rojas, is a Bronx resident who was arrested in 2008 and 2015 for drunk driving.


Scenes of chaos – Nada Tawfik, BBC News, New York

It’s a scene that immediately makes New Yorkers fear the worst.

A car driving out of control and ploughing into pedestrians in Times Square, the main tourist site of all places. Eyewitnesses have described scenes of initial chaos – people running and screaming.

It’s doesn’t sound like an accident given the deadly, and similar incidents overseas committed by alleged Islamic State group sympathisers. But the New York police department believes this is not terror related.

Still, they are reinforcing key sites in New York out of an abundance of caution, and more likely, to reassure New Yorkers.


Media captionAerial footage shows a car in flames

“It is believed to be an isolated incident, it remains under investigation,” the New York Police Department said on Twitter.

City authorities said they would nevertheless deploy extra police from anti-terror units to key locations around the city as a precaution.

The vehicle jumped the kerb at 45th Street and Broadway at 1155 local time (1655 GMT) and drove at high speed before crashing into a pole.

Image copyright
EPA

Witness Annie Donahey, 24, told the New York Times: “It was going at a fast rate of speed and to me it looked it was trying to hit as many people as possible.

“People were trying to jump out of the way.”

Image copyright
EPA

Photos from the scene showed casualties strewn across the walkway.

One person was covered with a white cloth.

Among those hurt, four were in critical condition and three sustained serious injuries, according to the fire department.

The department said 15 other victims suffered less serious injuries.

Image copyright
EPA

Police said an 18-year-old woman died and her 13-year-old sister was among the injured.

“People were being hit and rolling off the car,” said witness Josh Duboff, who jumped out of the way to avoid being struck.

Twitter user Michael Rickerby wrote: “just witnessed a car running people over in times square. scariest moment of my life. what is wrong with some people?!”

Image copyright
EPA

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement the event was “nothing short of horrific”.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump had been informed about the incident.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image copyright
Reuters

Times Square was the target of an attempted attack in May 2010 when a Pakistani immigrant planted a car bomb at an intersection.

The device failed to detonate and he was arrested shortly after boarding a flight to the Middle East.


Did you witness what happened in Times Square? If it is safe to do so let us know about your experiences. Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your stories.

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

Source

Previous post:

Next post: