The Niagara Falls Police Department will handle the traffic investigation into the car crash and explosion that happened at the border earlier in the day, the FBI announced on Wednesday night.
“The investigation conducted by FBI Buffalo at the scene of the Rainbow Bridge incident is now complete. According to an agency statement, “a search of the scene revealed no explosive materials and no terrorism nexus was identified.”
The agency’s findings support what Governor Kathy Hochul of New York stated during a news conference on Wednesday night: there is no proof that the collision that occurred on the American side of the Rainbow Bridge, which unites the United States and Canada at Niagara Falls, New York, was the result of a terrorist act.
During the press conference, she also informed the reporters that there were no signs of explosives at the scene.
According to Hochul, earlier on Wednesday, a car approached a border crossing on the American side of the bridge, struck a booth, burst into flames, and took up into the sky.
“You actually had to look at it and say, ‘Was this generated by A.I.?’ because it was so surreal to see how high in the air this vehicle went and then the crash and explosion and the fire,” she explained.
The governor stated that both the driver and the passenger perished. Hochul revealed that a citizen of western New York was one of the victims.
After being hurt in the event, one booth agent received medical attention at a hospital. According to Hochul, they were freed later in the day.
According to Hochul, “it was a very congested area,” and “it could have been very cataclysmic.”
Due to the vehicle’s extensive damage and the debris that was strewn over 13 booths, Hochul informed the journalists that the inquiry would take some time.
She stated, “There isn’t a licence plate.”
Shortly after Hochul’s press appearance, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas released a statement on X, restating that the incident did not appear to be related to terrorism.
“We will continue to closely coordinate with state and local officials,” he stated in a letter.
On the scene, investigators discovered a briefcase or suitcase of some kind, according to sources. The parcel was handled by the bomb squad earlier in the day, when they were treating it as a potential explosive device out of caution.
According to Hochul, the Rainbow Bridge was closed following the incident.
Later that evening, both directions of travel on the Canadian Peace, Queenston-Lewiston, and Whirlpool-Rapids Bridges reopened. According to the authorities, they had been closed earlier due to extreme caution.
As events developed, Buffalo Niagara International Airport said that it will step up security measures, including vehicle inspections and extra passenger searches.
The White House claimed as events developed that President Joe Biden was briefed on the explosion.
The Canadian parliament was told by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday afternoon that the event was being investigated by the police.
“This is something we are taking very seriously,” Trudeau declared. “We are following up in an effort to obtain as many responses as we can, as soon as we can. At every border crossing in the nation, additional safeguards are being considered and implemented.”
Out of an abundance of caution, the Toronto police department announced that patrols would be stepped up.
Mayor of New York City Eric Adams stated he was keeping an eye on the situation.
“The public will notice increased security at locations across New York City, including entry and egress points into and out of the city,” stated Adams, adding that the NYPD has already increased security for Thanksgiving.