In a harrowing incident at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, New York, an "airborne" car crashed into a checkpoint, resulting in a fatal explosion that claimed the lives of two individuals. New York Governor Kathy Hochul addressed the public, assuring that there were no immediate signs of terrorism.
The car, reportedly traveling at an extraordinarily high speed, was on the U.S. side of the border when it crashed, caught fire, and exploded. Contrary to early reports, the vehicle's origin was clarified. Video footage captured the surreal scene, showcasing the car soaring over an 8-foot-high fence.
Witness Rickie Wilson, working for Gray Line Tours, described the shocking moment, initially mistaking it for an aeroplane crash. The vehicle appeared to strike a cement median before going airborne. Wilson emphasized the disbelief as the car soared 10 to 15 feet in the air.
Tragically, the two occupants in the speeding car lost their lives. A Customs and Border Protection employee suffered minor injuries but was safeguarded by the booth structure. The vehicle essentially incinerated, leaving only the engine, with debris scattered across multiple booths.
Preliminary investigations found no secondary explosive, but authorities are diligently examining whether the crash was intentional. Governor Hochul acknowledged the incident's widespread impact, causing heightened anxiety and initially leading to the shutdown of all western New York bridge crossings, later reopened.
The White House, Homeland Security, and Canadian officials are closely monitoring the situation. In response to the incident, security measures have been increased in New York City. Buffalo Niagara International Airport is implementing additional screenings, causing travel disruptions. Amtrak's Maple Leaf Train from New York City to Toronto will terminate at Niagara Falls due to the incident.
This tragic occurrence unfolded on one of the busiest travel days in the U.S., just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, amplifying its impact on travelers and communities alike.