On Wednesday, a high-speed collision engulfed a car in flames on the bridge connecting New York state and Ontario at Niagara Falls, resulting in the tragic loss of two lives. The incident triggered a security alert, leading to the closure of four U.S.-Canadian border crossings and the shutdown of New York's Buffalo International Airport.
The vehicle explosion at the United States-Canada border crossing near Niagara Falls claimed the lives of a 56-year-old businessman and his wife. The couple, driving a $300,000 Bentley Flying Spur, crashed into the US checkpoint, resulting in a fiery explosion at 11:27 am.
Law enforcement officials confirmed that the victims had spent only a few minutes at the Seneca Niagara casino resort before the tragic incident. Reports suggest they were not regular visitors to the casino and may have been there briefly to exchange money. Their intended destination was a Kiss concert in Canada.
Eyewitnesses describe the horrifying scene as the Bentley collided with a fence, erupting into a massive 40-foot fireball. The crash prompted the closure of the Rainbow Bridge, a key border crossing, on the eve of Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year.
Despite the intensity of the explosion, New York Governor Kathy Hochul reassured the public, stating that there is no known terrorist connection. Authorities found no explosives in the vehicle, and the incident appears to be a tragic accident.
One Customs and Border Patrol agent sustained minor injuries in the crash, receiving treatment and subsequently being released from the hospital. Governor Hochul emphasized that, based on current information, there is no evidence of terrorism and urged the public to remain calm.
Various agencies, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, are conducting investigations into the incident. Officials have identified the driver, a resident from Grand Isle, New York, as a 56-year-old man with no apparent ties to terrorism. The Joint Terrorism Task Force is involved in the ongoing investigation.
In a press conference, US Attorney Trini Ross stated that their initial investigation did not indicate terrorism involvement, but they remain vigilant. Governor Hochul emphasized the need to lower heightened sensitivities and assured the public that the situation is under thorough investigation.
While many questions remain unanswered, including the cause of the crash, officials are working diligently to piece together the events leading to this tragic incident. The White House confirmed that President Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation, and additional measures are being contemplated and activated at border crossings in Canada.
Eyewitnesses describe the surreal nature of the crash, with the vehicle soaring over an eight-foot fence in a congested area. The incident has left the community in shock, and investigations continue to shed light on the circumstances surrounding this heart-wrenching event.