Terrorism In a tragic incident near the New York-Canadian border, a car explosion on the Rainbow Bridge has been referred to Niagara Falls police as a traffic investigation. The FBI confirmed that no explosives were found, and there is no connection to terrorism. The investigation is now in the hands of local authorities.
Thanksgiving Travel Disrupted – Fatal Explosion on Busy Rainbow Bridge
The incident occurred just minutes before 11:30 a.m. on one of the busiest travel days in the U.S., as people across the country hit the road for Thanksgiving. The heightened awareness due to the holiday adds to the significance of the event. The White House closely monitored developments, and the Department of Homeland Security remained in touch with Canadian counterparts.
Witness Describes Surreal Scene – Car Goes Airborne, Ignites, and Explodes
Eyewitnesses, including Rickie Wilson, who works for Gray Line Tours, described a surreal scene as the car, traveling at an “extraordinarily high rate of speed,” crashed, caught fire, and exploded. Contrary to initial reports, the car was on the U.S. side of the border when the incident occurred. Governor Kathy Hochul, who viewed video footage, emphasized the “absolutely surreal” nature of the event, noting that the car went flying over an 8-foot-high fence after crashing into a median.
Governor Hochul stressed during a news conference that there were no indications of terrorism. A Customs and Border Protection employee in a booth suffered minor injuries but was protected by the structure. The vehicle was described as “incinerated,” with debris scattered over multiple booths.
Immediate Impact – Bridge Crossings Shut Down, Increased Security Measures: Terrorism
The incident had an immediate impact on border crossings, prompting the shutdown of all western New York bridge crossings into the U.S. The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority announced increased security systemwide. Although the incident caused heightened anxiety from western New York to Albany to Washington, Governor Hochul later confirmed that all bridges had been reopened.
Regional and National Response – City on Heightened Alert: Terrorism
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced increased security in response to the incident, stating that the “city is on heightened alert due to the upcoming holiday.” Amtrak also reported changes, with its Maple Leaf Train from New York City to Toronto terminating at Niagara Falls due to the ongoing situation.
The tragic accident on the Rainbow Bridge has left authorities grappling with its aftermath, raising questions about safety and security on one of the crucial border crossings between the U.S. and Canada.