No bomb as New York vehicle scare ends

NEW YORK (BestGrowthStock) – New York City police cleared several blocks near downtown Union Square late Thursday and early Friday to investigate a suspicious vehicle but reopened streets a few hours later, saying the car had posed no danger.

Local news reports said what appeared to be two gasoline canisters were spotted in the back seat of a car on Irving Place, spurring a call to the city bomb squad to investigate.

But police gave the “all clear” signal early on Friday after locating the owner of the car, identified as a 1991 Oldsmobile Cutlass, and determining there was no danger.

A police captain on the scene, who declined to give his name, said there was no bomb, “just someone who did something they didn’t know was wrong.”

A Reuters editor attending a concert at the Filmore on Irving Place on Thursday evening said police directed everyone out the back door to 15th Street and patrons were not allowed to leave through the front door on Irving Place.

During the height of the scare, police cordoned off several square blocks between Union Square east and Irving Place, witnesses said. They also evacuated some buildings.

The car may have sparked special concern because it was parked directly in front of the headquarters of the electric utility Con Edison.

The city has been on alert since a crude car bomb was discovered in Times Square on May 1, leading to the arrest of a Pakistani-American two days later. Faisal Shahzad, 30, has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and trying to kill and maim people.

Investigators arrested three people linked to the suspect in the failed Times Square bombing during raids on Thursday in suburbs of New York, Boston and Philadelphia but officials said there was no new threat.

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(Reporting by Daniel Trotta and Derek Caney; editing by Todd Eastham)

No bomb as New York vehicle scare ends