FBI Probes Deadly Vehicle Blast at Rainbow Bridge on US-Canadian Border


A car exploded at the US-Canada Rainbow Bridge border crossing, resulting in at least one fatality, according to law enforcement sources speaking to CNN.

The explosion took place on the bridge connecting Canada to New York State on Wednesday, just before noon.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc emphasized the seriousness of the situation during a press conference on Wednesday.

LeBlanc also urged caution in speculating about the cause of the explosion until more information is available, stressing the need for responsible reporting.

The explosion has led to closures and delays at multiple border crossings between Canada and the US, affecting travel just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

For live updates on the situation, click here.

Images of the vehicle’s remains scattered on the US side of the border have circulated on social media, verified by CNN.

The images depict thick smoke, fire, and significant damage to a border guard shack.

Videos reviewed by authorities show the vehicle entering the bridge on the US side at high speed before exploding, contradicting earlier reports about its direction of travel.

According to sources, the vehicle hit a curb, went airborne, and exploded upon landing in a secondary search area.

The condition of the remains has made it difficult to determine the identity of the driver, posing challenges for authorities in assessing if there were one or two individuals in the car.

The FBI, New York State Police, and US Customs and Border Protection are working together to investigate the incident and retrieve video evidence.

Fortunately, no other serious injuries have been reported at this time.

Both the US and Canadian leaders are closely monitoring the situation, with New York Governor Kathy Hochul heading to Buffalo to assess the situation firsthand.

Federal authorities in Buffalo have described the situation as “very fluid.”

Initially, the bridge was reported closed due to a crash, causing significant disruptions to travel.

Derek Gee/The Buffalo News/AP

Debris is scattered about inside the customs plaza at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing on Wednesday, November 22, 2023, in Niagara Falls, New York.

The bridge closure was captured on camera, showing a haze surrounding the area, causing further disruption to travel.

All four ports of entry between Canada and the US near Niagara Falls were closed following the incident, as per US Customs and Border Protection.

Security measures have been heightened at Buffalo International Airport, with bomb-detecting dogs deployed for every incoming car.

In Washington, authorities have increased patrols on roadways and waterways as a precaution, though no credible threats have been reported.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

CORRECTION: The previous version of this story contained an error in describing the vehicle’s movement through the border checkpoint.

CNN’s Laura Dolan and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.


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