A terrorist detonated a pipe bomb in a subway passage between Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal — one of the busiest transit hubs in the world — during the Monday morning rush-hour, injuring three people and causing commuter chaos.
Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi native, detonated part of his “low tech” explosive in the passage just 200 feet from the bus terminal at West 42nd St. and Eighth Ave. at 7:20 a.m., officials said. Three commuters suffered minor injuries, officials said.
After the explosion, Port Authority cops struggled with Ullah, 27, who had wires attached to his body, sources said. The device was affixed to his body with Velcro and zip ties, police officials said.
He tried to set off the rest of his bomb, but only part of it went off. Two PAPD officers grabbed him and successfully removed the explosives without further incident.
The heroic cops were identified as Jack Collins, Sean Gallagher and Anthony Manfredini.
“It wasn’t a big explosion,” a law enforcement source said. “There is no structural damage.”
Ullah was taken to Bellevue Hospital with burns to his hands and abdomen and also lacerations. He is expected to survive, sources said.
Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said preliminary information suggested Ullah “supposedly was setting the device off in the name of ISIS.”
Security guard Christina Bethea, 29, of Yonkers, had just gotten of the downtown No. 1 train and walked down the stairs to get to Eighth Ave.
“At the end of the tunnel, we heard the explosion, BOOM!” she said. “You could see the smoke coming. When I saw the smoke, I just ran up the stairs.”
Byron Woodhouse, 55, said he saw people sprinting for safety in the wake of the explosion.
“It was loud. It was scary,” he said. “People were running all over the place.”
Ullah has been in the country for about seven years, Bratton said.
“This was an attempted terrorist attack,” Mayor de Blasio said.
“Thank God he did not achieve his goal. Thank God the only injuries we know about at this point are minor.”
Added Gov. Cuomo, “We are a target by many who would like to make a statement against freedom … Let’s go back to work. We are not going to allow them to disrupt us.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill said Ullah said nothing before detonating the bomb. Additional cops were sent to transit hubs around the city and other sensitive sites.
Two of the three injured people took themselves to Mt. Sinai West, and one went on their own to Mt. Sinai Queens.
Authorities evacuated the A, C and E trains, but didn’t find any structural damage. The Times Square station was also evacuated. Trains on both lines were bypassing the stations through the morning, officials said.
“It’s pretty chaotic over there right now,” said a law enforcement source with knowledge of the situation.
Cops flooded an address connected to Ullah on E. 48th St. in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn, and shut down the block.
Kisslyn Joseph, 19, said he could hear someone pacing before dawn Monday.
“It was odd because of the time,” she said. “I could hear somebody on the phone and it was kind of strange. It was the tone of voice and they were swearing.”
Investigators were combing through subway surveillance video to figure out from where the assailant may have entered the area.
Several blocks of Eighth Ave. were shut down as emergency vehicles flooded the area.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force was brought into the investigation. President Trump has also been briefed on the incident.
Ulises Sanchez, 53, saw people come pouring out on the street after the blast went off.
“A lady told me, ‘Go away. There was an explosion down there,’” said Ulises Sanchez, 53. “Everybody was trying to get out.”
Enrique Lopez was on a nearby No. 7 train when the blast filled his car with smoke.
“Everybody was running for their lives,” said the 33-year-old father of five. “We were all trying to find out a way out. The smoke was in the hallway.”
Witnesses recalled a stampede of people out of the subway and the sprawling bus terminal.
No group has taken responsibility for the attack.
The blast comes amid calls from ISIS to attack the Big Apple during the Christmas season.
Bethea said once she got out of the chaotic station, she called family.
“I called my mother, my father, a friend,” she said. “I called my friend and said New York City just had an explosion.
“I thought, this is not the place to be right now. I thought, ‘Damn, I’m moving back to Carolina. I don’t want to live in New York anymore.’”