A man sped his car the wrong way up a street in New York’s Times Square midday Thursday, ploughing into crowds of pedestrians, killing one and injuring at least 23 others.

The police said the incident did not appear to be an act of terrorism, but the bomb squad responded as a precaution to check the vehicle and a large area in the Manhattan tourist centre was cordoned off by officers.

The 26-year-old driver of the vehicle was taken into custody after the car crashed into a pole, and he is being tested for alcohol, law enforcement officials said. The official added that he has a history of driving while intoxicated.

The man in custody is Richard Rojas from the city’s Bronx district. Rojas was formerly in the military and a US citizen, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio told a press conference.

The maroon-coloured Honda sedan that struck the victims only stopped when it crashed into the lamppost and safety barriers intended to stop vehicles. The car dangled at a precarious angle with two of its wheels in the air.

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