Police close off part of New York's Times Square
Bomb squad investigates suspicious cooler outside hotel
NBC News and news services
updated 1:54 p.m. ET, Fri., May 7, 2010
NEW YORK - New York police closed off part of Times Square in Midtown Manhattan on Friday as part of an investigation into a suspicious package.
Police said the package was a cooler that was in front of the Marriott Hotel. As a result, several blocks of Seventh Avenue were closed to traffic and pedestrians.
NYPD spokesman Paul Browne says police have created some distance between the cooler and are "in an abundance of caution" looking into whether the cooler was abandoned by someone. Browne said no evacuations have been ordered from buildings.
A failed bomb attack on New York's Times Square on Saturday has heightened security in America's most populous city.
WNBC's Jonathan Dienst reported that the NYPD receives 100 suspicious package reports every day. These calls are up 30 percent since the failed bombing attempt last weekend.
Prosecutors on Tuesday charged Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and trying to kill and maim people in the United States.
Shahzad is accused of driving a crude homemade bomb of gasoline, propane gas, fireworks and fertilizer into crowded Times Square on Saturday evening.
New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the Times Square plot was the 11th thwarted attack on New York City since hijacked airliners destroyed the World Trade Center's twin towers on September 11, 2001, killing more than 2,700 people.