New York, May 2 (ANI): New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city's police chief Ray Kelly have said that had the bomb seized and neutralised yesterday exploded, it could have had a devastating impact on the city.
Bloomberg, who returned to the city from a White House dinner in Washington on hearing news of the bomb, was quoted by The Telegraph, as saying: "We are very lucky. Thanks to alert New Yorkers and professional police officers, we avoided what could have been a very deadly event."
"The bomb squad confirmed that the suspicious vehicle did contain an explosive device. We have no idea who did this or why. Terrorists who want to take our freedoms away from us focus on the symbol of those freedoms, and that's New York City," he added.
Bloomberg said the wiring of the bomb "looked amateurish" and it had used "consumer grade fireworks" that were easily obtainable.
It contained three propane tanks, fireworks, two five gallon gasoline containers, two clocks with batteries, electrical wires and a four foot by two foot metal box.
New York Police Commissioner Kelly said: "I think the intent was to cause a significant ball of fire."
The bomb was found abandoned in a cae with its engine running and hazard lights flashing.
A T-shirt vendor, who was a Vietnam veteran, alerted police when he noticed smoke coming out of it.
A mounted police officer examined the vehicle and saw white smoke billowing inside. He also smelled gunpowder.
Police hurriedly evacuated thousands of tourists and theatre-goers, including women in evening gowns, from the area on Broadway's busiest night of the week.
Heavily armed police and FBI agents were deployed on the empty streets as bomb disposal experts used a robot to break the windows on the vehicle and remove explosive material.
The alarm was raised at 6.34 p.m. local time. Six minutes earlier, a security camera had recorded the Nissan heading west on 45th Street.
Police have also established that the car's plates, which were from Connecticut, were not the ones registered to it.
They have already spoken to the owner of the plates who said he had taken them to a junkyard.
Bloomberg said police had no reports of anyone being seen running away from the vehicle after abandoning it.
Times Square is four miles north of the site where terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. (ANI)