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Home » Monroe County » LATEST: FBI concludes investigation of Rainbow Bridge vehicle explosion, no terror links found

LATEST: FBI concludes investigation of Rainbow Bridge vehicle explosion, no terror links found

The FBI has officially concluded its investigation into the recent vehicle explosion at the Rainbow Bridge, a key U.S.-Canada border crossing in Niagara Falls. The agency, through its Buffalo office, announced late Wednesday that their thorough examination found no evidence of explosives or links to terrorism. This news comes as a significant reassurance amidst initial fears of a potential terrorist attack, especially given the current global tensions.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

The incident, captured on surveillance footage, showed a white sedan speeding towards the border, crashing into a median, and subsequently bursting into flames at a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) booth. The explosion resulted in the tragic death of the two individuals in the car and minor injuries to a CBP agent. New York Governor Kathy Hochul disclosed that the driver hailed from Western New York and the vehicle lacked a license plate. She described the car’s approach as alarmingly fast, leading to its airborne crash.

In the aftermath of the explosion, all four international crossings between Western New York and Canada were temporarily closed, though only the Rainbow Bridge remains shut as of Thursday morning. Eyewitness Mike Guenther, visiting from Canada, recounted the shock of witnessing the vehicle speed past at high velocity, swerve, crash, and erupt into a massive fireball. The case has now been handed over to the Niagara Falls Police Department for a traffic investigation, marking the end of the FBI’s involvement in what initially appeared to be a potential federal-level security concern.

A vehicle crash and subsequent explosion at a checkpoint on the American side of the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls on Wednesday resulted in two fatalities.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Despite initial concerns, authorities have found no evidence of a terrorist attack. The FBI’s Buffalo office concluded its investigation, stating that no explosive materials were found and no connection to terrorism was identified. The incident has been handed over to the Niagara Falls Police Department as a traffic investigation.

The crash occurred as the vehicle sped toward the U.S.-Canada bridge from the American side, crashing and exploding at the checkpoint. The identities of the two deceased, a husband and wife, have not been released. New York Governor Kathy Hochul commented that the driver, a western New York resident, may not have been intentionally heading for the bridge. The FBI found no derogatory information about the driver, and New York Sen. Chuck Schumer confirmed that there was no link to any terrorist or criminal group.

The incident, which occurred around 11:30 a.m., prompted the temporary closure of the Rainbow Bridge and three other border crossings, causing significant traffic disruptions on one of the busiest U.S. travel days of the year. The car, described as “basically incinerated” by Hochul, left debris scattered across the checkpoint. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection worker sustained minor injuries. The crash and its aftermath, including the sight of the car airborne and the resulting explosion, were captured by security cameras and bystanders, adding to the surreal and alarming nature of the event.