Rainbow Bridge: US-Canada border blast not terror-related, says NY governor

A major security scare was sparked on the eve of Thanksgiving when a speeding vehicle collided and exploded in a lethal fireball across a US-Canada border bridge.

A US border agent was injured and two passengers died in the vehicle, but the governor of New York ruled out terrorism. 

A checkpoint collision occurred as the vehicle was being driven from the New York side of the boundary to Rainbow Bridge.

As a result of the incident near Niagara Falls, four bridges along the longest international frontier in the world were closed.

Wednesday at approximately 11:30 local time (16:30 GMT), the detonation occurred, resulting in significant disruption on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, one of the busiest travel days of the year.

A temporary suspension was imposed on cross-border train travel, while law enforcement personnel at Buffalo and Niagara Falls airports intensified their vigilance by inspecting vehicles for explosives.

Concerns were raised regarding the possibility of the occurrence of a terrorist attack as a result of the event, and unsubstantiated speculation was spread around the internet regarding an alleged threat to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which takes place in New York City.

Both the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and the Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, who is now celebrating Thanksgiving in Massachusetts, were swiftly told about the event.

During Question Period in the House of Commons, Mr. Trudeau withdrew and stated that his government was "extraordinarily serious" about the incident.

The Canadian entrance to the Rainbow Bridge, which connects Ontario to New York and the American city of Niagara Falls to Niagara Falls, Canada, was cordoned off by officials using vehicles as a precaution.

A married couple died according to US law enforcement officials, the deceased consisted of a husband operating the vehicle and his wife riding as a passenger.

As reported by sources,  the driver was operating a 2022 Bentley and had recently returned from an American casino subsequent to the cancellation of a hard rock band Kiss concert in Canada.

The governor stated that the vehicle reached a "very high rate of speed" and sped over a fence measuring 8 feet (2.4 metres); however, it remained unknown whether the collision was intentional. She stated that the vehicle had been "combusted" and that only the engine remained. Not even the vehicle's licence plate was recovered.

The governor expressed gratitude that a greater number of individuals were not injured at the busy crossing.

Wednesday night, the Rainbow Bridge remained closed to the public, but three other US-Canada crossings had reopened: the Peace Bridge, the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, and the Whirlpool Bridge.

Dor Tamang, an eyewitness from Toronto, stated to ources that he was present on the second floor of a CBP building at the time of the explosion.

Mr. Tamang reported feeling ground vibrations within the structure. Another eyewitness stated to the sources, "We just witnessed this automobile engulfed in flames." He compared the explosion to a "mini-earthquake."