A vehicle crash and explosion on the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, New York, resulted in the death of two individuals on Wednesday. New York Governor Kathy Hochul stated that there was no indication of terrorist activity involved in the incident. The details surrounding the crash are still unclear, and it is uncertain whether the person involved was the driver. The events began at 11:27 a.m. ET, leading to the closure of four bridge border crossings between Ontario and New York in preparation for the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend.
Canadian government sources reported that the car involved in the explosion was badly burned, making it difficult to determine what happened. However, they are confident that the vehicle originated from the United States. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is leading the investigation, and the FBI Buffalo Field Office confirmed that they are coordinating with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners.
The Rainbow Bridge, which connects the tourism sectors of Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Niagara Falls, New York, remains closed due to the incident. Security measures have been heightened at various border crossings, including the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been briefed on the situation and remains engaged in the incident. The Prime Minister's Office is in contact with U.S. officials, and the Minister of Public Safety, RCMP, and CBSA are providing necessary support.
Authorities have yet to determine whether the explosion was intentional, and until proven otherwise, the operating assumption is that there is a security threat. The Niagara Regional Police Service stated that there is no known threat on the Canadian side of the border, but precautions have been taken, including increased police presence and road closures near the bridges.
The incident has caused concern for the community, as Niagara Falls relies on the crossings for trade and tourism. With the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday approaching, many people cross the border during this time of year. Local officials are working closely with Canadian and American federal authorities to address the situation.
Witnesses described the evacuation and closure of the bridge, expressing their nervousness and concern for their safety. The investigation is ongoing, and more information will be provided as it becomes available.