A vehicle explosion at Rainbow Bridge, a key U.S.-Canada border crossing near Niagara Falls, resulted in two fatalities on Wednesday, triggering a significant security response on both sides of the border.
The incident, which occurred on the U.S. side of the crossing, led to the closure of four international border crossings and heightened security measures across the region. According to sources, the vehicle, traveling at high speed from the U.S. side, crashed into the customs station before exploding. The car was reportedly “charred beyond recognition,” complicating efforts to identify the victims or determine the cause of the explosion.
While Canadian officials are operating under the assumption that the incident might be terror-related, other potential causes, such as a medical event or reckless driving, have not been ruled out.
Upon being informed of the situation, New York Governor Kathy Hochul directed the New York State Police to collaborate with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Governor Hochul stated, “The New York State Police is actively working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor all points of entry to New York.”
In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, briefed by national security and intelligence advisors, as well as the Minister of Public Safety, announced that additional security measures are being considered at all border crossings. Ontario Premier Doug Ford has also been briefed and is coordinating with law enforcement.
In response to the explosion, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration announced an increase in law enforcement and canine patrols, alerting travelers to heightened security. In New York City, Mayor Eric Adams stated that the NYPD has enhanced security and dispatched officers to Buffalo to support efforts on the ground.
Toronto Police, reacting to the incident, have increased patrols throughout the city. Eye-witness accounts describe the vehicle traveling at high speeds before crashing into the customs station and exploding. The incident has had a significant impact on travel and transportation in the region, with multiple bridges and an airport affected.
The FBI Buffalo Field Office is leading the investigation into the explosion, urging the public to stay alert and avoid unnecessary travel in the affected areas. This is a developing story, and further details will be provided as they become available.