Was car explosion at New York-Canada border a terrorist attack? Maybe so, maybe not

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News November 22, 2023

A suspected terrorist attack occurred on Monday at the Rainbow Bridge that connects the United States and Canada at Niagara Falls, New York, but the willingness of “sources” to provide that assessment without evidence has fueled both speculation and skepticism.

A car exploded on the U.S. side of the border crossing, killing two individuals in the vehicle. A border protection agent was injured but not seriously.

Fox News initially cited police sources telling Fox News correspondent Alexis McAdams that the explosion was an attempted terror attack and the vehicle was full of explosives. Updated stories removed the report.

Sources told ABC News that investigators located a briefcase or suitcase at the scene of the explosion. The investigators are treating the object as a possible explosive device as a precaution and the bomb squad is handling the package.

The FBI Buffalo field office said in a statement that agents are investigating a “vehicle explosion” and working with local, state, and federal law enforcement.

“As this situation is very fluid, that’s all we can say at this time,” the FBI said.

Ron Rienas, general manager of the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, told ABC News that all four U.S.-Canada bridges that go over the Niagara River have been closed while the investigation continues.

Two witnesses told the Niagara Gazette that they heard a loud noise that sounded like an explosion and saw a large cloud of smoke near the inspections station on Wednesday morning shortly before police arrived on the scene.

A witness told WGRZ-TV, an NBC affiliate in Buffalo, that a driver was speeding toward the border checkpoint and swerved around another vehicle before crashing, “flying up in the air” and erupting into “a fireball.”

Ivan Vitalii, a visitor to the Falls from Ukraine, said he and a friend were at the 7-Eleven convenience store in the 400 block of Niagara Street when they observed a car exit the parking lot and travel toward the bridge. Vitalii said he and his friend moved down to the bridge area where they observed what appeared to be the same car on fire near the entrance to the bridge.

“We heard something smash,” he said. “We saw fire and big, black smoke.”

Niagara Falls resident Dan Ziraldo said he was leaving the parking lot at the Seneca One Stop outside Seneca Niagara Casino on Niagara Street when he noticed what appeared to be a thick cloud of smoke coming from the area near the Rainbow Bridge.

Zilardo said he moved down to the intersection of Rainbow Boulevard and Niagara Street where he saw what looked to him like a car on fire.

“It looked like a vehicle just crashed into the bridge,” he said.

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