Seventeen people have been injured in a shooting during the morning rush hour at a New York City subway station.
The unidentified attacker detonated a smoke bomb and opened fire at Brooklyn’s 36th Street station at 08:30 local time (12:30 GMT).
Images from the scene showed bloodied passengers lying on the floor of the smoke-filled station.
Officials are appealing for information about the gunman, who fled the scene and is still at large.
“An individual donned a gas mask, he then opened fire striking multiple people on the subway and on the platform.” New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
The attacker then fled wearing what Ms Sewell said was a green construction-type vest and a grey sweatshirt.
“This is not being investigated as an act of terrorism at this time,” she added.
Police have since tracked down a rental van they had been searching for in connection with the attack, according to the Associated Press, but the suspect wasn’t there.
Ten of those who are being treated for injuries were shot, while others suffered smoke inhalation as well as injuries sustained during the initial panic.
Five people are in a critical but stable condition. None of the injured are believed to be in a life-threatening condition, police said.
Officers are still working to establish a motive for the attack.
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“My subway door opened into calamity. It was smoke and blood and people screaming,” eyewitness Sam Carcamo told the Associated Press. He added that a billow of smoke poured out of the train once its doors opened.
Another witness, identified only as Claire, told the New York Post that she had “lost count” of the number of shots that were fired.
The woman said she saw the suspect dropping “some kind of cylinder that sparked at the top” – initially believing him to be a subway worker because of the vest she said he was wearing.
New York’s fire department told the BBC it originally received a call about smoke inside the station.
But officials arrived to find multiple people shot and injured.
Initial police investigations into what happened may have been hampered by a failure in the station’s surveillance system.
“At that particular station there appeared to be some form of malfunction with the camera system,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams later said.
Responding to the attack, President Joe Biden expressed gratitude to “all the first responders who jumped into action, including civilians who didn’t hesitate to help their fellow passengers.”
US cities have seen a troubling rise in gun violence incidents over the past two years.
“This insanity that is seizing our city has to stop,” New York Governor Kathy Hochul said after the attack. “We say no more. No more mass shootings. No more disrupting lives.”
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