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NY Times Square reopened after police determine suspicious package as not dangerous

05-08-2010 08:17 BJT

NEW YORK, May 7 (Xinhua) -- A New York City police spokesman told Xinhua on Friday that "the suspicious package is not dangerous" and the Times Square is now re-opening.

The New York Police Department said the suspicious package that forced evacuation of the heart of Times Square at lunchtime was examined by the Bomb Squad and determined to be just a lunch cooler and safe.

It was the second time in less than one week the usually- crowded symbol of New York City's entertainment center was emptied because of a suspicious package. But the previous evacuation turned out to be for a failed car bomb last Saturday evening.

The police spokesman told Xinhua shortly after 2 p.m. (EDT) the suspicious package was determined to be just a picnic cooler with beverages inside. Times Square was immediately reopened to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

The cooler in question was spotted by jumpy New Yorkers about 1 p.m. (EDT) outside the Marriott Hotel at West 45th Street on Broadway in the center of Times Square and the Bomb Squad was called to the scene. Members of the team suited up and examined the cooler and determined it was "safe," the spokesman said.

The usually-thronged gathering site was empty from West 44th to west 47th Streets, officials said.

Last Saturday evening a smoldering sports utility vehicle loaded with gasoline, fireworks and propane tanks failed to explode, officials said. Some of the fireworks were set off, apparently causing the smoke.

Two days later Faisal Shahzad, an unemployed naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan who had worked in the financial industry, was arrested for the attempt after boarding a flight to Dubai with a connection to Karachi, Pakistan, law enforcement officials said.

He has been cooperating with the investigation, officials said, and is providing information on his alleged terrorist connections.

Although officials said Shahzad acted alone, there have been reports he was connected with international terrorism, raising fears there could be a follow-on terrorist attempt in the city.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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