Berks

Berks bus passenger describes NYC explosion scene as 'chaos'

READING, Pa. - Some Berks County travelers were part of a group of commuters who saw an attempted terrorist attack unfold in New York City.

Emergency responders rushed to a subway corridor near the Port Authority bus terminal in midtown Manhattan just before 8 a.m. Monday.

Authorities said Akayed Ullah, 27, was strapped to two makeshift pipe bombs, managing to detonate one of them and hurt himself and three others. He's in custody and reportedly told investigators he was inspired by the Islamic State.

In the hours following the attack, the Port Authority was shut down to buses, temporarily throwing off schedules for companies like Berks County-based Bieber Tourways.

As schedules returned to normal, buses pulled in to the Inter-City Bus Terminal in downtown Reading. Among those on board, Joe Nuss, who happens to be a New York City taxi driver. He said he was just outside the Port Authority terminal when the attack happened.

"Chaos. Chaos. Everybody running," said Nuss. "Brings back memories of 9/11. New York's accustomed to it."

Also onboard, someone who's not as familiar with New York City, but also saw the chaos.

"I'm from Alabama," said Derrick Harris. "We took a trip up to New York for the Christmas lights and it was an amazing time until the bomb started happening."

Harris said he and his family were walking toward the Port Authority terminal minutes after the explosion.

"Coming from Alabama, as you know, things like that doesn't occur, but being there, it was tough," said Harris. "Right now, we're living in a time where anything can happen, and you always have to be alert and conscientious of everything around you."


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