Times Square sees another evacuation over false alarm

  • PTI, New York
  • Updated: May 12, 2010 11:54 IST

The Times Square was evacuated for the third time in 11 days on Wednesday after a suspicious package was reported at the popular tourist site to the police, which later found it was a 'harmless empty bag'.

The busy centre has been re-opened after the police evacuated it following a report of a suspicious package at around 9:00 p m (local time).

The package that was found in the garbage has now been declared as 'harmless empty bag' after being checked by a bomb squad, the NYPD said.

This is the third evacuation to happen in the past 11 days, during which such false alarms have increased considerably.

The police have received hundreds of suspicious package calls after a failed bombing attempt by Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad on May 1.

Shahzad had allegedly tried to blow up the Time Square by leaving a car bomb in a Nissan Pathfinder in the area.

Shahzad, who was arrested 53 hours later trying to escape to Dubai on an Emirates flight, was apprehended at the John F Kennedy airport and has been charged and the Pakistan Taliban is believed to be behind the attack.

Last week, another evacuation took place after a cooler was found stranded on the pavement.

After a robot and bomb squad checked the box, it appeared to be filled with water bottles.

Between Sunday (after May 1) and Wednesday, police have checked out 493 suspicious packages, compared with 381 in the same period last year, according to Wall Street Journal.

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