Authorities in New York have confirmed there’s been a failed car bomb in the heart of mid-town Manhattan.
Times Square and its surrounding area have been sealed off while police deal with the vehicle. It was parked in front of a theatre during Broadway’s peak early evening period.
The area had been crowded with tourists and others beginning a Saturday night out.
“We are very lucky, thanks to alert New Yorkers and professional police officers we avoided what could have been a very deadly event,” said New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The alarm was triggered after a member of the public spotted a suspicious vehicle. A police officer saw smoke and a small flash coming from the black Nissan Pathfinder.
A bomb squad robot has been working to dismantle the contents.
Police say the car was found to contain explosives, gasoline, propane and wiring.
Surveillance videos are being studied and extra security measures have been put in place across the city. President Obama has been kept closely informed of events.
New York has remained on high alert for another attack since the September 11th attacks in 2001.
Last year police say they foiled a plot to bomb the city’s subway.