Police have launched a man hunt following the failed bombing attempt in New York’s Times Square.

New York police destroyed the homemade petrol and propane car bomb on Saturday evening in a controlled explosion having shut down part of the district and closed subway lines.

Now, having discounted claims from a Pakistani Taliban group that it was responsible, police have said they are hunting a middle-aged white man who was seen near the area on Saturday night taking off his shirt and stuffing it in a bag.

Although the bomb has been described as crude, the popular city had a lucky escape following the detonation of the bomb which police said could have sparked a “significant fireball”.