New York – The car bomb planted in Times Square came within a “millisecond” of causing “mass casualties” with a 30-foot high fireball, an explosives expert said.
Kevin Barry, a retired NYPD bomb squad supervisor and the head of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, painted a gruesome picture of what might have been if the bomb had gone off Saturday night.
“Several hundred” could have been killed or maimed by a fireball exploding from the Nissan Pathfinder found loaded down with firecrackers, fertilizer, gasoline, propane and alarm clocks.
The propane-fueled flames wouldn’t have brought down any buildings and would have lasted only a few seconds, but with flames shooting as high as 30 feet, the toll on people nearby would have been devastating, Barry said.
The fireball would have caused horrific lung damage and fried the hair and faces of anyone within a 50-yard radius.
“It could burn the throat and then cause death. It’s a difficult thing to deal with,” Barry said.
“We came within a millisecond,” added Barry, who put in 35 years with the NYPD, the last 20 years on the bomb squad. “Because had that detonator functioned correctly, we would have had a huge explosion.”
Luckily, Barry said, the crude car bomb’s homemade detonator malfunctioned.
“It may not have been sophisticated,” Barry said of the bomb. “[But] it worked. It didn’t function as he designed it to. The main charge did not go off. That was a critical mistake for him.