The FBI launched an investigation Wednesday into a vehicle explosion at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing between the U.S. and Canada in Niagara Falls, New York.
Footage shows black smoke rising from large flames on the bridge after the explosion, which prompted an immediate response from law enforcement ranging from the local to federal level. Authorities said the explosion involved a vehicle attempting to enter the U.S., Fox News reported.
The explosion killed two individuals located inside the vehicle, who were said to be husband and wife, authorities said. After conducting a preliminary investigation, authorities found no explosives inside the vehicle.
Currently, multiple authorities and emergency personnel are on the scene, with evacuations underway after a vehicle… pic.twitter.com/CGJnKIm6u5
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) November 22, 2023
Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said there is currently “no indication” of terrorist involvement in the explosion. There was initially high suspicions of the incident being an attempted terrorist attack, according to Fox News correspondent Alexis MacAdams’ “high level sources.” She later walked back these claims.
This video of a high speed crash comes as NY Gov. Kathy Hochul says there is no indication of a terrorist-involved attack at this time. But, Hochul says the investigation will continue for days. https://t.co/PXHLHVMsNz
— Alexis McAdams (@AlexisMcAdamsTV) November 22, 2023
The incident injured a 27-year-old Border Patrol agent who has been transported to Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital, Hochul said at a press conference Wednesday. The victim is currently suffering from back injuries and minor cuts, but no severe injuries.
I’m in Niagara Falls updating New Yorkers on the incident on the Rainbow Bridge. Watch live: https://t.co/4Jj6ejoUFs
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) November 22, 2023
A couple visiting from Ontario witnessed the vehicle speeding and swerving toward the bridge, then hitting the fence and “flying up into the air,” according to local outlet WGRZ. The husband, Mike Guenther, described the vehicle as a “ball of fire” that reached around thirty to forty feet up in the air.
The FBI field office in Buffalo, New York, said the situation is currently “very fluid” and are “coordinating” with local, state and federal law enforcement to investigate the matter.
“The FBI Buffalo Field Office is investigating a vehicle explosion at the Rainbow Bridge, a border crossing between the U.S. and Canada in Niagara Falls. The FBI is coordinating with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners in this investigation. As this situation is very fluid, that’s all we can say at this time.”
— FBI Buffalo (@FBIBuffalo) November 22, 2023
The Niagara Falls mayor’s office said the bridge is currently closed as authorities investigate the situation. All four ports of entry in New York are currently shut down until further notice.
Hochul traveled to Buffalo to meet with law enforcement and agencies. The governor said she directed the state police to “actively” work with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force “to monitor all points of entry to New York.”
“At my direction, @nyspolice is actively working with the @FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor all points of entry to New York. I am traveling to Buffalo to meet with law enforcement & emergency responders & will update New Yorkers when more information becomes available,” Hochul said in a Wednesday statement.
This story has been updated to reflect Fox News walking back their initial report the incident was possibly an attempted terrorist attack.