4 U.S.-Canadian border crossings closed as FBI investigates vehicle explosion

November 22, 2023

Four border crossings between the U.S. and Canada were closed Wednesday as the FBI investigated a vehicle explosion on the U.S. side of Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls.

The Rainbow Bridge connects the two countries across the Niagara River. Three other bridges between Western New York State and Canada were also quickly closed as a precaution. The Buffalo-Niagara International Airport has also begun security checks on all cars and told passengers to expect additional screenings.

During a news conference late Wednesday afternoon, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said, “I want to be very, very clear to Americans and New Yorkers, at this time there is no indication of a terrorist attack.”

Her statement came as the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force was coordinating with local, state and other federal law enforcement.

U.S. Attorney Ross Trini reiterated what the governor had stated, saying during a separate news conference,  “Our preliminary investigation of the situation is that it was not terrorism related but we will continue to stay vigilant. We will continue to make sure that the information we have is passed onto the public.”

The Rainbow Bridge was closed just before noon Eastern Time. 

According to Gov. Hocul, the car is associated with a western New York resident. Some authorities said they believe the vehicle may have come from a casino, although the governor could not confirm its origin.

One law enforcement source told CNN earlier in the day that two people were in the vehicle, both of whom were killed.

The New York Times reported that a Border Patrol Agent was also injured in the blast. But according to NBC News, an initial search did not find a secondary explosive or device at the scene.

The White House was “closely monitoring” the incident. President Biden was in Nantucket, Massachusetts with his family for Thanksgiving, but he was briefed on the situation. According to White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre, Biden and his team “are closely following developments.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also been briefed on the situation, and in fact left a session of Parliament early on Wednesday afternoon in order to continue to monitor the ongoing investigation.

PHOTO: Niagara Street approaching Rainbow Bridge security camera footage

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