– One dead and 19 injured as car hits Times Square crowd

May 18, 2017

Emergency workers at the scene of the Times Square crash in New York.Image copyright

One person is dead and 19 others injured after a car drove on to a pavement in New York City’s Times Square, the fire department says.

The driver is in custody and the area has been sealed off, according to the New York Police Department.

The vehicle reportedly jumped the kerb at 7th Avenue and 45th St near the city’s popular tourist spot.

Photos showed a red Honda partially on its side on the pavement with smoke and flames spewing from the bonnet.

LIVE: Car runs into pedestrians in Times Square

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Media captionFootage from the scene shows the injured being tended to by emergency crews

The 26-year-old driver was being tested for alcohol, a law enforcement official told the Associated Press news agency.

He reportedly had a history of driving while intoxicated, the official said.

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Photos from the scene showed people being taken away on stretchers and other casualties strewn across the walkway.

Police reportedly said the driver “lost control” and the collision appeared to be an accident.

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They added the incident was not connected to terrorism, CBS reported.

CBS reports that NYPD says the man in custody is suspected of driving while impaired, a charge often linked to drug or alcohol use.

But a witness told Reuters the vehicle drove against traffic before hitting the kerb and striking pedestrians.

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The FBI is investigating the incident.

One witness, Ed G Val, was across the street when he saw the car speeding north on the west sidewalk of 7th Avenue.

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“A woman in front on the sidewalk was hit and tossed before then car reached 44th street [and] continued ploughing people down at full speed up to 45th street where it was stopped after crashing into more people and the light posted pictured,” he said in an Instagram post.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio were reportedly on their way to the scene.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump has also been informed about the incident.

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