The FBI said in a statement that the deadly explosion near the New York-Canadian border has been referred to Niagara Falls police as a traffic investigation. Officials said that no explosives or any connections to terrorism were found regarding the fiery incident in which two people in the car were killed on the Rainbow Bridge (which leads into and out of Canada at Niagara Falls). The explosion occurred on one of the busiest travel days in the U.S. as people across the country hit the road for Thanksgiving.
The White House and the Department of Homeland Security closely monitored the situation, saying they were in touch with Canadian counterparts. The FBI in Buffalo NY said in a statement: “A search of the scene revealed no explosive materials, and no terrorism nexus was identified. The matter has been turned over to the Niagara Falls Police Department as a traffic investigation.”
At a news conference, New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul said that one of the people killed was from western NY, and in a statement on Thursday morning, the Niagara Falls Police Department said the identity of those involved is pending notification of relatives. A Customs and Border Protection employee suffered minor injuries and was treated at and released from a hospital, a law enforcement official said.
Niagara Falls police also thanked local business partners, including the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, for their assistance in the investigation. According to a statement from the casino, the car stopped there for “a matter of minutes shortly before the crash occurred.”
Officials have said that the vehicle involved in the incident was traveling at a high rate of speed on the U.S. side of the border when it crashed, caught fire and exploded – contrary to some early reports that it had come from Canada. Governor Hochul said she has seen video of the car, which was going at an “extraordinarily high rate of speed” before it went airborne, crashing into a median and striking a border crossing booth. She stressed at the Wednesday evening news conference that there were no indications of terrorism.
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