Law enforcement officials are investigating whether a vehicle explosion at a border crossing in Niagara Falls, New York, Wednesday, was a botched terror attack.
The vehicle crashed into the checkpoint structure at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, killing the two occupants.
“The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it hit the checkpoint, caught fire and exploded,” NBC News reported.
A Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer reportedly suffered minor injuries that did not require hospitalization.
NEW YORK: BREAKING: Car explosion at the Rainbow Bridge, a border crossing between US and Canada in Niagra Falls, on one of the busiest travel days of the year. The bridge is closed till further notice. pic.twitter.com/yznXMEdr2K
— KolHaolam (@KolHaolam) November 22, 2023
No response/dispatch from NFFD on the Ontario-side.
Multiple tweets indicating a vehicle exploded at the toll. pic.twitter.com/Mf7Qp1hDN2
— Shane B. Murphy (@shanermurph) November 22, 2023
A law enforcement official told NBC that an initial search did not find a secondary explosive or device.
However, according to Fox News NYC correspondent Alexis McAdams, “high level” police sources said the vehicle was “full of explosives.” [Update: McAdams now reporting that sources now say it appears the explosion was a result of speed/impact].
The FBI, which is reportedly investigating whether the crash was intentional, said in a statement that the “situation is very fluid.”
High level police sources tell me this is an attempted terrorist attack. Sources say the car was full of explosives. Both men inside dead. https://t.co/RYTIJ3WzHk
— Alexis McAdams (@AlexisMcAdamsTV) November 22, 2023
BREAKING: “Vehicle explosion" at Rainbow Bridge U.S./Canada border crossing in Niagara Falls into the U.S. was an attempted terrorist attack according to Police sources.
“A lot of explosives in the vehicle at the time"
per Fox News. pic.twitter.com/D90LWD4v7A
— Rowan Thee Stallion 🏇 (@canmericanized) November 22, 2023
Fox News reported that the vehicle was heading to Canada from the United States.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said in a statement that she’s traveling to Buffalo to meet with local law enforcement officials.
“I have been briefed on the situation that occurred at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls,” Hochul said. “At my direction, the New York State Police 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 and emergency responders and will update New Yorkers when more information becomes available.”
I am traveling to Buffalo to meet with law enforcement & emergency responders & will update New Yorkers when more information becomes available.
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) November 22, 2023
New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that NYC is “on heightened alert due to the upcoming holiday.”
“The NYPD and our team have been closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Buffalo after an explosion at the Rainbow Bridge, and we’ve already sent NYPD officers upstate to support efforts on the ground. The NYPD and our partners have already enhanced security, and the city is on heightened alert due to the upcoming holiday, so the public will see increased security at locations across New York City, including entry and egress points into and out of the city,” Adams said.
The NYPD and our partners have already enhanced security, and the city is on heightened alert due to the upcoming holiday, so the public will see increased security at locations across New York City, including entry and egress points into and out of the city.
— Mayor Eric Adams (@NYCMayor) November 22, 2023
The White House is also closely monitoring the situation, according to NBC. The Canada Border Services Agency said it was “liaising with our U.S. counterparts on this matter.”
The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority said it would be increasing security systemwide. Travelers at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport should expect additional screenings and vehicles coming into the airport will undergo security checks, it said.
“The Buffalo and Niagara Falls Airports are fully operational. We advise travelers to give themselves time for these extra precautions in addition to holiday travel,” the agency said in a post on X.
— NFTA Newsroom (@NFTANewsroom) November 22, 2023
Fox News is walking back its story about the “attempted terror attack,” and is now reporting that the explosion was a result of speed/impact, not a vehicle full of explosives, as initially reported.
Deleting this prior tweet as colleague @AlexisMcAdamsTV has now updated/clarified her reporting. She says her police sources initially had high confidence there were explosives in the vehicle due to condition of the car – she says sources say it now appears it was a result of… pic.twitter.com/Ny5RmpCLNh
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) November 22, 2023