An explosion that disrupted this morning’s commute in one of Manhattan’s busiest transit centers was caused by a man who detonated an improvised pipe bomb fixed to his body, according to police.
The bombing, which took place in an underground passageway near 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, resulted in only minor injuries to bystanders but forced the temporary suspension of service at the nearby Port Authority Bus Terminal and several subway lines.
“This was an attempted terrorist attack,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference shortly after the incident. “Thank God the perpetrator did not achieve his ultimate goals.”
According to NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill, a man “wearing an improvised, low-tech explosive device attached to his body” detonated the device at approximately 7:20 a.m. in the underground passageway connecting the Seventh Avenue and Eighth Avenue subway platforms at 42nd Street.
The suspect, identified as Akayed Ullah, 27, was taken into custody and transported to Bellevue Hospital with burns and lacerations to his body. Three others who were in the vicinity when the bomb detonated were hospitalized with minor injuries.
O’Neill said the NYPD will review security camera footage of the incident and conduct a full investigation, including of Ullah’s background. In response to a question regarding any potential connection between Ullah and the Islamic State, O’Neill said that Ullah “did make statements,” but declined to elaborate further.
Additional NYPD units were deployed to other transit hubs around the city as a precautionary measure, but police are not aware of any additional threats at this time, officials said.
Bus service has resumed at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Normal subway service has resumed with delays on the 1,2,3, 7, N, Q, R and W lines, as well as the 42nd Street shuttle. A, C and E trains are bypassing the 42nd Street station. MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said that subway service should be back to normal by the evening commute.