Canada: what we know about the accidental explosion of a car at the border with the United States

Two people were killed Wednesday in the accidental explosion of a car at a border bridge between the United States and Canada, near Niagara Falls, putting security services and authorities in both countries on alert .

The regional office of the FBI, the American federal police, indicated that the searches had found “no explosive material and no terrorist links”. The investigation into these facts relating to the traffic accident was entrusted to the local police, he added.

The accident took place in Niagara Falls, a city straddling the US-Canadian border. Arriving on site, the governor of New York State, Kathy Hochul, spoke of a “horrible incident, a (car) accident, an explosion (…) but at this stage no proven terrorist link. She confirmed the death of the two people who were in the car at the Rainbow Bridge between the United States and Canada.

The car flies away

According to security sources and a witness cited by American media as well as a video from the X account (formerly Twitter) of the American border authorities, a car was traveling at very high speed towards the border, before literally flying away, to hit a guardrail or safety barrier and explode.

A Canadian witness visiting the United States, Mark Guenter, interviewed by CBS, described seeing a car “speeding at over 100 miles per hour (160 km/h)”, then seeing it “hit the railing and fly into the air. He finally said he saw “a ball of fire” and smoke on the bridge.

Before Governor Kathy Hochul’s statements, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to his country’s Parliament about a “clearly very serious situation at Niagara Falls” after “a vehicle exploded at the Rainbow Bridge (bridge). Rainbow)”. The White House, for its part, said it had informed President Joe Biden of the explosion.

Rainbow Bridge closed “until further notice”

“Whenever an infrastructure as important to Canada and the United States, as a border crossing, is the site of these kinds of violent events, it is a source of concern for the governments” of both country, added Dominique LeBlanc, Canadian Minister of Public Safety.

The Canadian and American border towns of Niagara Falls announced on their Facebook page that the Rainbow Bridge was closed “until further notice,” as were the Niagara Falls American Natural Park and the Niagara Falls airport. Buffalo, a large American city nearby, for international flights.

On the American side, the federal police (FBI) were the first to announce “investigating the explosion of a vehicle at the Rainbow Bridge, a border crossing point between the United States and Canada at Niagara Falls”, on his X account.

As for the mayor of New York City Eric Adams, hundreds of kilometers to the south, he announced that “security” would be “reinforced” in the megacity, on the eve of the long Thanksgiving weekend where millions of Americans travel to celebrate with family.

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