Rainbow Bridge, which spans Niagara Falls, N.Y., to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, closed shortly after noon Wednesday after a car explosion on the USA side of the border with Canada.
All other bridges in the Western New York area, including Lewiston-Queenston, Whirlpool, and Peace Bridge in Buffalo, were shut down about an hour later. The Buffalo International Airport was closed to flights to and from Canada.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now investigating what was a fiery explosion, but which is being referred to as an “incident,” as of this writing. The explosion happened on what is one of the busiest travel days of the year and was in a vehicle coming into the United States.
2:20 pm Update: Eye witnesses say the vehicle rammed a concrete barrier at a high rate of speed and exploded. All other bridges in the area are now open except the Rainbow Bridge crossing.
“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,” the FBI said in a statement.
Fox News reports that the explosion was an “attempted terrorist attack” according to “high-level police sources.
A source with knowledge of the situation, who asked not to be identified by name, told The Buffalo News that “a vehicle approached the American side of the bridge at a high rate of speed while traveling in the wrong lane – the one in which vehicles from Canada would be entering the U.S. The speeding vehicle then hit an obstacle near a U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspection booth.”
Explosives were in the vehicle at the time and two people who were in the car are dead, the sources told Fox News. A border officer was injured and taken to a local hospital, where he has been released.
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo, on advice of law enforcement, has closed its facilities through the holidays.