December 11, 2017 1:11 pm
Updated: December 11, 2017 8:47 pm

Former Calgarian describes scene after New York City explosion: ‘It’s madness’

WATCH: An attempted terror attack happened just blocks away from a Calgarian living in New York. As Tracy Nagai reports, despite the violence he says he’s determined to stay.


A former Calgarian living in New York City said the scene in midtown Manhattan on Monday following an explosion at the city’s Port Authority transit terminal was “madness.”

Ron Tarrant moved to Manhattan two years ago after nabbing a job with the Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

Tarrant lives about four blocks away from the Port Authority transit terminal and said he didn’t know anything was wrong until friends and family started contacting him.

WATCH: Former Calgary resident Ron Tarrant tells Global News about the “madness” following an explosion in New York City Monday morning.

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“I heard a crazy amount of sirens,” he said. “My phone started going off like crazy as I was getting ready for work. I started looking at my text messages and everyone is like ‘are you OK? There’s a crazy bombing right by your house.’”

READ MORE: New York City explosion was ‘attempted terrorist attack’

Tarrant said he can normally see the hustle and bustle of midtown Manhattan when he looks out the windows of his apartment, but on Monday morning everything was eerily still.

“I went over to my window and looked, and that’s when you could tell something was happening just down the street from me.”

“Usually I can see all the traffic from the day. When I went to the window for the first time the streets were completely empty.”

WATCH: Cellphone footage captured by Tarrant shows the chaotic scene in midtown Manhattan on Monday following an explosion at the Port Authority transit terminal.

Officials said the explosion happened in an underground passageway under 42 Street between 7 and 8 avenues at around 7:20 a.m. ET.

When Tarrant left his apartment and began walking to work, his route took him to the centre of the chaotic scene.

“I started walking over on 42 Street and everything is completely shut down so it’s kind of an eerie sight in Manhattan when there’s usually thousands of people on their way to work on a Monday morning.”

“I was able to get kind of through [the area] more than other people because you have to show where you work … In order for me to get to work in Times Square, I had to show that I work at Sirius XM. It’s a little bit crazy around there.”

The explosion has been called an “attempted terrorist attack” by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

At a morning press conference, NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said the suspect intentionally detonated a “low-tech” device at the terminal.

“Preliminary investigation at the scene indicates this male was wearing an improvised device, low-tech explosive device attached to his body,” O’Neill said. “He intentionally detonated that device.”

Tarrant said he visits the terminal frequently, which made news of the explosion unsettling.

“It’s kind of eerie only because I walk by there every single day to and from work,” he said. “Even last night I got off the subway at 11 p.m. and was walking home. To hear a bomb went off there the next morning – it’s a little crazy.”

Investigators closed the Port Authority terminal after the bombing but the transit hub has since re-opened.

– With files from Adam Frisk

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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