Smoke billows from Niagara Falls explosion as two people dead in vehicle blast
New details are emerging about the two people killed in the vehicle explosion at the US-Canada border crossing at Niagara Falls on Wednesday.
Law enforcement sources told CNN that a local New York man and his wife, who have not been identified, planned to attend a KISS concert in Canada but the gig was cancelled.
The pair spent the night briefly visiting a casino near the border before the speeding Bentley they were travelling in rammed into the crossing at Rainbow Bridge, the sources said.
The Seneca Nation, which owns and operates the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, said a vehicle stopped at the resort and casino “for a matter of minutes shortly before the crash.”
The vehicle then drove less than a mile away to the bridge where it hit a curb on the US side of the border, became airborne and then combusted, according to the FBI field office in Buffalo.
The blast instantly sparked fears of a terrorist attack but New York Governor Kathy Hochul later said there was “no sign of terrorist activity”.
ICYMI: Two dead in car explosion that closed US-Canada border bridge
New York’s governor says that there is “no sign of terrorism” in the violent vehicle explosion that left two people dead and injured a border guard at the Rainbow Bridge crossing between the United States and Canada in New York near Niagara Falls.
Governor Kathy Hochul told reporters on Wednesday afternoon that there was no evidence of any terror planning and that an investigation would continue to look into what happened.
“This vehicle basically incinerated, there is nothing left but the engine. it is going to take a long time for our federal law enforcement partners to piece together the real story,” she told a press conference and said no threats had been made against the region. “The pieces are scattered over 13, 14 booths so it is a large scene.
“Based on what we know at this moment there is no sign of terrorist activity. This is a local individual. It’s a Western New York resident who was most likely in that vicinity prior to the high speed, high rate of speed, extraordinarily high rate of speed that led to the crash into the median that sent the vehicle airborne.”
She added: “We need to dial down the temperature, all is well, we are still investigating but based on the preliminary investigation there is no sign of terrorism in this horrific explosion.”
The couple, who have not been identified but are said to live in western New York, were travelling in their speeding Bentley when the car rammed into the crossing, law enforcement sources told CNN.
The sources said that the couple were planning to cross the border to go to a KISS concert in Toronto that night. But, the concert was cancelled earlier in the day due to frontman Paul Stanley being taken ill with flu.
The pair instead headed to a casino not far from the border, CNN reported – with the crash then unfolding when the couple left the casino in their Bentley.
Surveillance footage captured the vehicle driving at high speed and exploding as it crashed near a security checkpoint at the Rainbow Bridge crossing on Wednesday morning.
The car became airborne during the incident and crashed into a cement pillar. A suitcase was found near the vehicle but did not contain any explosives, officials told The New York Times.
Graeme Massie24 November 2023 09:00
Bystanders describe seeing ‘ball of fire’ at border crossing crash
Thick smoke, flames and a singed security booth could be seen in photos and videos taken by bystanders and posted on social media. Videos showed that the fire was in a US Customs and Border Protection area just east of the main vehicle checkpoint.
Speaking to WGRZ-TV, witness Mike Guenther said he saw a vehicle speeding toward the crossing from the US side of the border when it swerved to avoid another car, crashed into a fence and exploded.
“All of a sudden he went up in the air and then it was a ball of fire like 30 or 40 feet high,” Mr Guenther told the station. “I never saw anything like it.”
Ariana Baio24 November 2023 08:30
Buffalo airport reopens to international flights after explosion at Niagara Falls border crossing
Buffalo Niagara International Airport has reopened to arriving international flights and departures following a car explosion that occurred at the US-Canada border in Niagara Falls on Wednesday, according to the US Department of Transportation.
It had been closed earlier in the afternoon as officials investigated the cause of the blast.
The incident occurred shortly before 12pm. Authorities say that the vehicle had attempted to cross the US border into Canada using Rainbow Bridge. When a border patrol officer directed the car into a secondary lane for searching, it sped up, went airborne over an 8-foot fence, crashed, caught on fire and then exploded.
Two individuals who were inside the car died. One border patrol officer was injured, but transported to a nearby hospital and then released.
The driver was from western New York. Officials have not released identifying information for the driver or passenger. There’s no indication that the vehicle had explosives inside.
Maroosha Muzaffar24 November 2023 08:00
CCTV captures car travelling at speed moments before explosion
CCTV footage shows the moment a car travels at speed while approaching the Rainbow Bridge border crossing in Niagara Falls.
The surveillance footage released by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows a white car speeding towards the bridge connecting the US and Canada on Wednesday, 22 November.
In the video, the car hits a ramp and is airborne, before causing an explosion, which isn’t captured in the footage.
It is confirmed the explosion killed two people who were inside the vehicle.
Rainbow Bridge: CCTV captures car travelling at speed moments before explosion
CCTV footage shows the moment a car travels at speed while approaching the Rainbow Bridge border crossing in Niagara Falls. The surveillance footage released by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows a white car speeding towards the bridge connecting the US and Canada on Wednesday, 22 November. In the video, the car hits a ramp and is airbourne, before causing an explosion, which isn’t captured in the footage. It is confirmed the explosion killed two people who were inside the vehicle.
Maroosha Muzaffar24 November 2023 07:30
Misinformation about Rainbow Bridge explosion circulates social media
In the minutes after a car exploded on Rainbow Bridge on the border of New York and Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, reports emerged that a bomb caused the explosion leading to concerns of a terrorist attack.
Several right-leaning news outlets, including Fox News, sounded the alarm of the potential threat.
However, shortly after officials in the FBI confirmed that “no explosive materials and no terrorism nexus” were identified at the scene. Rather, the car carrying two passengers was travelling at high speeds, crashed, caught fire and then exploded.
But on social media, misinformation about the explosion continued to circulate into Thursday because some posts remained up with no updated information, including one from Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Ariana Baio24 November 2023 07:00
Four US-Canada border crossings shut after Rainbow Bridge explosion
After the Rainbow Bridge explosion, the United States and Canada heightened their security measures and shut down four international bridges.
Cross-border train services were also brought to a standstill after the explosion.
A deadly crash at a border crossing between the US and Canada is believed to have involved a New York couple who had planned to attend a Kiss concert in Toronto on Wednesday night.
Law enforcement sources told CNN that the couple, who have not been identified but were said to have lived in western New York, were speeding in their Bentley when the car rammed into the Rainbow Bridge crossing, killing them both.
Maroosha Muzaffar24 November 2023 06:30
FBI ends investigation of car wreck at Niagara Falls bridge, no indication of terrorism
The FBI has ended its investigation of a fiery car wreck that killed two people at a border checkpoint in Niagara Falls after finding no evidence that it was a terror attack, easing a tense period of high tensions as Americans headed into the Thanksgiving holiday.
The FBI’s decision late Wednesday came several hours after the vehicle raced through an intersection, hit a median and was launched through the air before slamming into a line of booths and exploding at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls. Local police are now handling the case as a traffic investigation.
“A search of the scene revealed no explosive materials, and no terrorism nexus was identified,” the FBI’s Buffalo office said in a statement. “The matter has been turned over to the Niagara Falls Police Department as a traffic investigation.”
Who are the victims?
Two individuals were killed when their car crashed into a curb at the Rainbow Bridge and exploded.
Preliminary reports indicate the people inside the vehicle were a man and woman from western New York though their identification is pending results and notification of next of kin.
Investigators said the man in the car was believed to be attending a KISS concert in Ontario but had to make a change in plans after it was cancelled.
The driver is thought to have briefly stopped by the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino – located less than a mile from the bridge. The Seneca Nation, which owns and operates the resort and casino, said they were cooperating with police in providing information.
It is unclear if the two people inside the vehicle were married but reports indicate they were a “couple.”
Ariana Baio24 November 2023 05:30
New York governor says ‘Footage of crash will make your jaw drop’
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said footage she had seen of the incident at the US-Canada border crossing was “rather extraordinary”.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Ms Hochul said that watching the footage of the vehicle, which was travelling at a “high rate of speed” would make “your jaw drop in disbelief”.
Speaking about the driver, she told reporters the individual “was most likely in that vicinity prior to the high speed… [an] extraordinarily high rate of speed that led to the crash… that sent the vehicle airborne.”
She added: “When you see this video, your jaw will drop in disbelief at how this went so high over an eight-foot-high fence. It’s rather extraordinary.”
Ariana Baio24 November 2023 05:00
Investigation will ‘take some time’
After a car exploded at the Rainbow Bridge was determined to be unrelated to a terrorism attack, the Niagara Falls Police Department will take over as lead investigators but said it may take a while before a conclusion is drawn.
In a statement released on Thursday morning, the police department said they would be investigating the incident but that people should not expect any conclusions soon.
“Due to the complexity of the incident, the investigation will take some time to complete,” the Niagara Falls Police Department wrote.
They said they are awaiting positive identification of the victims involved in the crash and to notify their next of kin before releasing any names.
Ariana Baio24 November 2023 04:30
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