In a shocking incident at the Rainbow Bridge U.S.-Canada border crossing near Niagara Falls, two individuals lost their lives in a vehicle explosion, prompting the closure of key border crossings. As authorities delve into the details, early assessments indicate that the tragic event is not linked to terrorism.
On Wednesday afternoon, a vehicle exploded at the border crossing, leaving two people dead. The victims, a married couple, were identified as the driver and passenger, traveling in a high-end Bentley worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The vehicle was reportedly incinerated, with debris scattered over the border security booths.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul addressed the media, emphasizing that, at this point, there is no indication of terrorist involvement in the “horrific” explosion. FBI Buffalo corroborated this, concluding their investigation and finding no explosive materials or terrorism connection. The case has been handed over to the Niagara Falls Police Department as a traffic investigation.
Witnesses and preliminary assessments suggest that the vehicle was traveling at a high speed, crashed through a fence and Customs and Border Protection inspection area, and subsequently exploded. The cause of the explosion remains unknown, with authorities exploring possibilities, including a potential fuel-air explosion.
While a border patrol officer suffered minor injuries, the focus now is on determining whether the crash was accidental or deliberate. FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia assured the public that there are currently no indications of terrorism.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau affirmed close cooperation with U.S. officials, indicating that additional measures are being considered at all border crossings across Canada. The incident prompted heightened security alerts, with law enforcement on alert during the Thanksgiving period.
In response to the incident, New York City Mayor Eric Adams mentioned increased security measures, and Toronto police announced directed patrols in the city as a precautionary measure.
As investigations continue and the community mourns the tragic loss, the Rainbow Bridge remains closed, impacting travel between Niagara Falls, New York, and Niagara Falls, Ontario. The Buffalo Niagara International Airport has resumed operations, albeit with heightened security measures.