An 18-year-old woman was killed, and 22 injured after a speeding vehicle rammed into pedestrians in Times Square in New York City on Thursday. The New York Police Department cordoned off the area immediately, news agency Reuters reported. The vehicle is said to have drove against traffic before shifting onto the sidewalk and striking pedestrians. It came to a still after crashing into a pole on 45th Street and Broadway. Government officials told Reuters that the evidence on the scene does not point to an act of terrorism, although the driver’s identity remains unknown.
The driver identified was previously arrested in 2008 and 2015 for drunk driving, news agency Reuters reported.
“Preliminarily it looks more like a vehicle accident than anything else,” a New York police spokesman told AFP. President Donald Trump was informed of the incident.
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Despite officials saying the incident did not look like an act of terror, an injured victim told Reuters said the driver’s actions seemed intentional.
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The New York police confirmed that there were ‘multiple injuries’. Separately, the NY Fire Department took to Twitter to say that 13 people were treated on site. The driver is in custody, and his alcohol levels are being tested, reported AP.
The vehicle, a red Honda sedan, was briefly seen on fire, reported AFP. Pictures depicted the car lying on its side on the sidewalk of Times Square with smoke coming out of its hood. Fire tenders were also seen dousing flames from the car.
Times Square is a bustling commercial street which attracts hordes of tourists from across the world. It is the heart of the Broadway theatre district.
More details are awaited.
(With inputs from agencies)