NEW YORK, U.S. - New York was gripped by a shocking incident on Thursday afternoon after a man drove his car into a crowd of pedestrians in Times Square.
News and speculations about the incident spread like wildfire, causing chaos and panic both online and offline, especially since a chain of similar incidents have rocked Europe and U.K. in recent months.
The Fire Department confirmed in a statement that one person was killed and at least a dozen injured after the car struck pedestrians in New York’s Times Square on Thursday at about noon.
The incident took place as the iconic locality was packed with lunch-hour crowd and in a quick flash, a red Honda sedan crashed into pedestrians near 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue, with its right wheels off the ground, officials stated.
The front hood of the car was crumpled and its trunk was open even as several detectives and investigators surrounded the car.
The NYPD said in a brief statement that the car lost control between 42nd and 43rd streets near the popular tourist destination.
A Police Department spokesman later said that the driver of the car had been taken into custody, while another official revealed that the driver appeared to have been either drunk or on drugs.
A law enforcement official also noted that the driver has a history of DWI arrests
While a preliminary investigation suggested that the deadly crash was accidental with no nexus to terror, the cause of the crash is under investigation.
People from across the country took to social media to express concern as witnesses described the shocker for others across the world, claiming that the area was filled with screaming and chaos.
Many on Twitter and Instagram posted photos of the sedan halfway on its side after appearing to crash into a traffic pole.
Scenes of horror were witnessed in videos uploaded by social media users, showing smoke emanating from the hood of the car as several pedestrians watched in horror.
The incident also led to a huge emergency response by the police, with the intersection being blocked off immediately and fire trucks rushing to the spot.
Police cruises were seen pulling up as alarms were raised and traffic near the TKTS booth in midtown Manhattan was blocked off.
A mobile phone photo also showed the suspect being led away from the car by New York police.