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Police Respond To Reports Of An Explosion Near Times Square In New York City

Police officers in New York responded to reports of an explosion in Manhattan Monday morning, forcing the evacuation of multiple subway lines, according to CNN. What happened at Port Authority bus terminal in New York? A pipe bomb is thought to have been detonated in a below-ground passageway of the busy transportation hub, and the explosion is said to have caused injuries, according to ABC News. The suspect, thought to be a man originally from Bangladesh who has been living in the United States for the past seven years, is now in police custody, according to ABC News. And though the exact nature of the blast is still unconfirmed, unnamed law enforcement sources told CNN that the bomb "may have unintentionally exploded," while a witness said he heard "two distinct explosions" occur "seconds from each other," before police quickly arrived at the scene.

New York’s Port Authority is one of the city’s busiest commuter hubs, according to Reuters, with buses and trains transporting thousands of commuters each day. The explosion took place during morning rush hour, though the motive behind the bombing has not yet been publicly confirmed. The NYPD confirmed via its official Twitter account earlier this morning that it had responded to reports of the explosion, described as being "of unknown origin." Four people, including the suspect, are thought to have been injured as a result of the blast.

On Twitter, the New York City Fire Department confirmed that its Rescue Task Force had also responded to the explosion, and that the four reported injuries are "non-life-threatening." According to ABC News, the Port Authority Bus Terminal has been temporarily closed, and subways are bypassing Port Authority and Times Square stations.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that President Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident, though he has yet to comment, according to NBC News. In a tweet, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed that he was on the scene, and that he had also been briefed on the details by law enforcement. In a follow-up tweet, Cuomo wrote that "an investigation is underway."

An update from CBS New York reported that the explosion occurred in the underground walkway between Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal around 7:20 a.m. The suspect, who has been living in Brooklyn, is said to have been wearing a "crudely-assembled improvised bomb" on his body that New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill described as "low-tech." O'Neill said that the suspect "intentionally detonated that device," and confirmed that the suspect had "burns and wounds to his body" as a result.

One thing O'Neill and other officials haven't yet confirmed was the motive behind the attack, though O'Neill did refer to the explosion as a "terror-related incident." In an interview with CNBC, former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said that "preliminary information from police sources" suggests that the suspect "was supposedly setting the device off in the name of ISIS," although it's not known if he had actually been involved with the terrorist group.

News of the bombing has reignited debate on social media about terrorism and Trump's call for "extreme vetting," but with the investigation into the incident still under way, many Twitter users took the opportunity to highlight the bravery and dedication of the first responders who quickly arrived on the scene:

Monday morning's explosion at Port Authority is harrowing, and given that the suspect's bomb is said to have malfunctioned, it's awful to think about what might have happened if the attack had gone according to plan. But with the city already showing signs that it is returning back to normal — transit officials have said service should return to normal before evening rush hour, according to CNN — it's yet another reminder of the city's resilience. Unfortunately there are still many unanswered questions, but for now, it seems the answers may have to wait while the police investigation continues.