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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019

One dead and 22 injured as car ploughs into pedestrians at Times Square

Charlie Flanagan has expressed Ireland’s “solidarity with the people of New York at this time”.

Times Square Crash Source: Mary Altaffer/AP

Updated 10.50pm

A VEHICLE HAS hit a number of pedestrians at Times Square in New York.

The New York Police Department has said one person is dead and 22 have been injured. The incident is not believed to be terrorism-related.

Four of those injured are described as being in a critical condition.

Police said that a 26-year-old male driver named Richard Rojas has been arrested and is being tested for alcohol.

A law enforcement official said the man has two previous arrests for drink driving.

The crash happened at noon local time on a hot day that brought large crowds of people into the streets.

Videos posted online showed steam or smoke pouring from the car for a few moments after it stopped moving.

Witnesses have said the driver appeared to be intoxicated.

“He’s just mowing down people,” said witness Asa Lowe, of Brooklyn, who was standing outside a shop when he heard screaming.

He didn’t stop. He just kept going.

After the car struck a barricade and stopped, the driver climbed out of his vehicle, Lowe added.

He just started running until people tackled him down. Citizens just reacted.

Times Square is typically packed with tourists and office workers. It lies in the heart of Midtown Manhattan and leads to Broadway, New York’s famed theatre district.

Irish citizens 

The Irish Consulate in New York said it is aware of the incident and “working closely with authorities”.

In a statement, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said: “I am aware of the terrible incident in New York this afternoon, which has resulted in a number of casualties. My Department are monitoring the situation closely through Consulate General New York and the Consular Division in Dublin.

Irish citizens with concerns can call +353 (1) 4082000 for assistance.

“On behalf of the Irish government, I wish to express our condolences and solidarity with the people of New York at this time,” Flanagan said.

Contains reporting from AP and © AFP 2017 

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Órla Ryan

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