- Car plowing into pedestrians has killed a women and has injured 22 other people on Times Square.
- Four people have been critically injured but are expected to survive.
- Incident reminds of the four terrorist attacks with cars or trucks rammed into crowds which have occurred in France, Germany, Britain, and Sweden over the past less than a year.
- However, there has been no indication that the Times Square crash has been a terrorist attack, and it is being investigated as an accident.
- Driver of the car has been arrested; he has been founded to have a history of drunken driving.
A car has plowed into pedestrians in Times Square in New York City killing one and injuring at least 22 other people in an incident reminiscent of recent terrorist attacks in Europe, which, however, is not treated as such by the investigators for the time being.
In early April, a terrorist attack with a truck plowing into pedestrians committed by a national of Uzbekistan killed four people in Sweden’s capital Stockholm.
A similar assault, but with a car, was committed at the end of March on Westminster Bridge in London, the UK, and also resulted in four deaths, including the attacker who was a UK national.
In December 2016, a Tunisian national hijacked a truck and rammed it into a crowd at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, killing 12 people.
On July 14, 2016, Bastille Day, i.e. France’s national holiday, a cargo truck rammed into celebrating crowds in France’s Nice killing 86 people.
A recent incident with a speeding car in Antwerp, Belgium which was at first suspected to be a terrorist attack turned out to be a false alarm.
In 2014, Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, spokesman of ISIS (“Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) called for attacks on citizens of Western countries, and gave instructions on how they could be carried out without military equipment, using rocks or knives, or by running people over in vehicles.
‘Out of Control’
An 18-year-old woman was killed and at least 22 people were injured shortly before noon on Thursday when a speeding car plowed into pedestrians in Manhattan’s Times Square, city officials said, CNN reported.
For the time being, there has been no indication the incident was an act of terrorism, according to New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials.
The Times Square car ramming is being investigated as an accident, a police official said.
The driver of the 2009 Honda Accord was 26-year-old Richard Rojas, of the Bronx. He was arrested after the incident, New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said.
O’Neill revealed that Rojas had been arrested twice in New York – in 2008 and 2015 – for drunken driving.
“Right now, he is being transported to a testing facility where [officials] will test him for drugs and alcohol,” Assistant Chief William Aubry said.
Before striking pedestrians, the car was “out of control,” an emergency management official said, as cited by CNN.
Four people were critically injured but are expected to survive, officials said.
The speeding car jumped the sidewalk on the west side of 7th Avenue at 42nd Street and plowed into pedestrians for three blocks before crashing at the northwest corner of 45th Street, police said.
Witnesses described a shocking scene of screams and panic at Times Square, one of the world’s most visited sites.
Within moments of the incident, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio rushed to the scene.
President Donald Trump, whose home at Trump Tower is one mile from the crash scene, was made aware of the incident almost immediately and given updates, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted.
The sidewalks around Times Square have been secured with more than 200 steel bollards intended to prevent accidental or criminal vehicle intrusions, said Rob Reiter, chief security consultant for CalPipe Security Bollards. The bollards are designed to stop vehicles going about 30 miles an hour, he said.
Times Square averaged about 360,000 daily visitors in April, according to a tally by the Times Square Alliance, making it one of the most visited locations in the world.