FBI investigating vehicle explosion that killed 2 car occupants at Rainbow Bridge on US-Canadian border newsbhunt


The two occupants of a car that exploded Wednesday at the US-Canada Rainbow Bridge border crossing are dead, a law enforcement source told CNN.

The incident occurred shortly before noon in a car at the border on the bridge connecting Canada to New York State.

“This is obviously a very serious situation,“ Canadian Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters Wednesday.

“We’re taking this circumstance very seriously but to speculate on the origin of this particular circumstance – the reasons why this may have happened – until we have more accurate information is simply not responsible.”

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Four photos circulating on social media show the remains of a vehicle strewn about the US-side of the border crossing. CNN has geolocated and confirmed the authenticity of the four photos.

Thick smoke and fire can be seen in the photos. One image shows a border guard shack with significant damage and charred debris next to it.

Videos reviewed by authorities show the vehicle entering the bridge on the US side and then accelerating at a high rate of speed, according to multiple law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation. Earlier reports had indicated the car was traveling from Canada to the US.

The vehicle hit a curb and went airborne over a barrier, landing in a secondary search area, where it exploded, according to the sources.

The FBI, New York State Police and US Customs and Border Protection are on the scene investigating. Federal authorities are trying to retrieve video from a number of different angles because the statements from witnesses vary, the sources said.

Sources said there are no serious injuries except to those who were in the car.

Federal authorities in Buffalo, New York, said the “situation is very fluid.”

The FBI is coordinating with local, state and federal law enforcement in the ongoing investigation, it said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Earlier, the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition reported the bridge was closed on both sides due to a crash.

Debris is scattered about inside the customs plaza at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023, in Niagara Falls, N.Y. The border crossing between the U.S. and Canada has been closed after a vehicle exploded at a checkpoint on a bridge near Niagara Falls. The FBI's field office in Buffalo said in a statement that it was investigating the explosion on the Rainbow Bridge, which connects the two countries across the Niagara River. (Derek Gee/The Buffalo News via AP)

The bridge was reported closed at 11:51 a.m., according to the technology coalition. Camera footage from the coalition showed haze surrounding the bridge.

There are four ports of entry between Canada and the US near Niagara Falls, according to US Customs and Border Protection. All four were closed following the incident.

Every car coming into Buffalo International Airport was being screened with bomb-detecting dogs as the travel hub heightens security, a transportation official told CNN.

The Buffalo Niagara International Airport has closed to international arriving and departing flights, according to the US Federal Aviation Administration.

In the nation’s capital, the Metropolitan Police Department increased patrols on roadways and waterways as a precaution, a law enforcement official said. Officials said they are not aware of any credible threats.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly described how the vehicle traveled through the border checkpoint.

CNN’s Laura Dolan and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.

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