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Times Square reopened to traffic

cooler not a threat

May 07, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) -- The bomb squad of the New York Police Department says a suspicious cooler in Times Square is not a threat.

Police found water bottles and books in the green, soft-sided cooler at the edge of a pedestrian mall in Times Square. They opened streets to traffic about an hour after investigating.

Police called in the bomb squad and cordoned off streets with yellow police tape after the package was found on the sidewalk. No evacuations were ordered from buildings, but workers were told to stay indoors as the police responded.

The cooler was found about a block from where a smoking SUV and a failed car bomb was found over the weekend.

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Henry Goldfine, an attorney from New Jersey attending a meeting at the Marriott Marquis, said he had planned to relax on the Times Square pedestrian mall but was turned away.

"Instead, I'm going back where there's no air and no light," Goldfine said, standing near the hotel. "We don't have things like this in New Jersey."

On an average day, police get 90 to 100 reports of a suspicious package. Since the failed car bomb attack Saturday on Times Square, that figure has risen about 30 percent.

One earlier Friday was reported near the area where the car bomb was discovered, but turned out to be someone's lunch.

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