The FBI is currently conducting an investigation into a vehicle explosion that occurred on Wednesday at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, which serves as a border crossing between Canada and the United States. According to information provided by four senior law enforcement officials briefed on the incident, the explosion resulted from a vehicle crashing into the checkpoint structure.
Tragically, both occupants of the vehicle, which was traveling at a high speed, did not survive the crash. Two senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter confirmed their fatalities. Additionally, a Customs and Border Protection officer sustained minor injuries in the incident, although these injuries were not severe enough to warrant hospitalization, as indicated by a senior law enforcement official.
The vehicle, upon impact with the checkpoint structure, caught fire and subsequently exploded. Initial investigations did not reveal the presence of a secondary explosive or device, although this information is considered preliminary, according to law enforcement officials. The authorities are actively exploring the possibility of whether the crash was intentional.
In response to the incident, all western New York bridge crossings into the U.S. were temporarily closed, as stated by the Erie County executive. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office reported that the vehicle was headed into the U.S. Emergency services were promptly deployed to the bridge entrance, and federal authorities, as reported by NBC affiliate WGRZ of Buffalo, are actively engaged in the investigation.
Governor Kathy Hochul acknowledged the incident and announced her plans to travel to Buffalo to meet with law enforcement officials. She also confirmed that the New York State Police would collaborate with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor all points of entry into the state.