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Governor: No indication of terror threat on US-Canada bridge

10:05 p.m. ET, November 22, 2023

No indication of terrorism after explosion on US-Canada bridge. Here’s what we know so far

Police blockade roads after an explosion at the Rainbow Bridge US border crossing with Canada in Niagara Falls, New York, on Wednesday.

Lindsay DeDario/Reuters

There is no indication of terrorism after an explosion killed two people in a car that crashed at the US-Canada Rainbow Bridge border crossing on Wednesday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

All four bridges between Canada and the United States near Niagara Falls were closed immediately after the incident, according to the governor. The Peace, Whirlpool and Lewiston-Queenston bridges reopened later Wednesday, while the Rainbow Bridge remained closed, she said.

Asked why the FBI believes there isn’t a threat of terrorism, Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia said, “We do have someone in mind for it and we’re working through it through the JTTF,” a reference to the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

High-speed vehicle: Investigators believe a man was traveling with his wife in a 2022 Bentley at a high rate of speed when the vehicle hit a curb, then a guardrail that sent the vehicle airborne into the secondary screening area of Rainbow Bridge, law enforcement sources told CNN. The man had plans to attend a KISS concert in Canada but when that was canceled, the man went to a casino in the US instead, investigators believe. The crash occurred sometime after the couple left the casino, law enforcement sources said. Footage on social media and from surveillance cameras shows the remains strewn about with thick smoke and fire billowing. A border patrol employee in a booth also suffered minor injuries, Hochul said.

Leaders briefed: The leaders of both the United States and Canada were briefed on the incident. “We didn’t know if it was a terrorist attack or not at the beginning,” Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said. “However, every precaution … was taken to ensure the safety of the community.” He described the crash as a “tragic accident.”

Travel headaches: The explosion on the eve of the US Thanksgiving holiday led to closures and delays on a busy travel day. International flights in and out of Buffalo Niagara International Airport were briefly halted while other travelers there were warned they could expect additional screening.

This post has been updated with the latest information on the driver.

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