A man with a home-made pipe bomb strapped to his body set off an explosion in a New York subway station during morning rush hour, in what the city's mayor called an "attempted terrorist attack".
The suspect - identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah - was one of four people injured by the blast and has been detained. The pipe bomb ignited, but did not fully explode, leaving Ullah with lacerations and burns on his hands and abdomen and three victims being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Police are now searching a number of addresses in Brooklyn connected to Ullah as they try and pin down a motive for the attack.
The blast occurred at about 7.20am (12.20pm GMT) in a passageway connecting subway lines near 42nd Street and 8th Avenue close to Times Square. The noise of the blast filled parts of the nearby Port Authority Bus Terminal, which was evacuated along with a number of subway lines.
“When we hear of an attack in the subways, it’s incredibly unsettling,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. “And let’s also be clear, this was an attempted terrorist attack. Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals.”
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The suspect Ullah is said to have made statements after the explosion that led officials to believe he could have been inspired by overseas terror groups, most likely Isis. However, when asked about these at a news conference the New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill declined to go into detail, saying they were a focus of the investigation. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
Ullah arrived to the US from Bangladesh about seven years ago and had been licensed to drive a for-hire taxi cab between 2012 and 2015, according to law enforcement officials and NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission.
He is said to be speaking with investigators from his hospital bed, police said.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has told CNN that the suspect in the attack was “disgruntled” and “went to the internet to try and get information about how to make a home-made bomb”.
The governor earlier told a news conference: “The first news this morning was obviously very frightening and disturbing... When you hear about a bomb in the subway station, it is in many ways one of our worst nightmares. The reality turns out to be better than the initial expectation and fear.”
Mr Cuomo said that New Yorkers should be alert but go about their lives.
“Let's go back to work,” he added. “”We're not going to allow them to disrupt us.“
Hello and welcome to The Independent's live blog as we follow reports of an explosion in Midtown Manhattan.
This was the initial New York Police Department tweet that alerted people to the incident:
The NYPD is responding to reports of an explosion of unknown origin at 42nd Street and 8th Ave, #Manhattan. The A, C and E line are being evacuated at this time. Info is preliminary, more when available.
NBC News is reporting that New York officials have confirmed the explosion at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue.
ABC News, quoting police sources, has reported that the explosion was caused by a "possible pipe bomb'' detonated below ground and said a suspect was in custody
US media outlets are also reporting that there have been "a few injuries", although this has not been confirmed by authorities in New York.
Here is our breaking news story on the ongoing incident:
A bit more about where this incident is understood to have taken place.
Port Authority is the largest bus terminal in the US, serving more than 65 million passengers a year.
It is located close to Times Square, between 41st and 42nd streets on 8th Avenue, in an area packed with theatres, restaurants and hotels.
Reports of the explosion came in shortly before 8am local time (1pm GMT), at the peak of rush hour.
ABC is reporting that the suspected "pipe bomb" was "possibly detonated in a passageway below ground at Port Authority".
NBC has reported that the suspect sustained a minor injury but it was not immediately clear if anyone else was wounded.
Donald Trump "has been briefed on the explosion in New York City", his press secretary Sarah Sanders has said. The President is yet to tweet about the incident.
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