Attack from underground: Man comes out of subway grate, throws smoke bomb inside crowded diner

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(CNN) — New York police are hunting for a suspect who popped up from underground and tossed a smoke canister at diners in a crowded restaurant on Friday, October 10th. The incident is raising serious questions about security.

“A guy came out of the subway grate over there, jumped out, and threw a smoke bomb at the people here,” Jim Webb said.

It was a frightening incident at the New York City restaurant as smoke billowed around a crowd of diners.

Surveillance cameras captured footage of a man popping out of an emergency subway hatch and throwing a smoke canister before disappearing back underground.

The attack is raising questions about the city’s ability to secure its extensive underground subway system.

“You’re talking thousands of miles. Who knows how many grates and escape hatches and doors that lead to the outside. You have the idea that obviously a terrorist could pop out of one of these gates and throw a real bomb and then escape down below so it does raise concerns,” former FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes said.

Nobody was injured in Friday’s incident.

Police are now asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect, who was wearing an American flag T-shirt and is believed to be in his mid-30s.

So far, no connection to terrorism has been reported.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing and will hopefully shed light on the suspect’s motive and how he went undetected underground.

“About five-and-a-half million people a day ride on the New York subway and you’re looking at a very difficult task to add enough security to completely prevent an incident like this,” Fuentes said.

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