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Officials say no sign of terrorism in fiery crash at US-Canada border

The high-speed crash resulted in the deaths of two people who are believed to be a couple from Grand Island, New York.
Officials say no sign of terrorism in fiery crash at US-Canada border
Posted at 12:39 PM, Nov 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-23 14:40:05-05

Officials say there are no indications of terrorism following a deadly vehicle explosion at a checkpoint on the Rainbow Bridge crossing along the U.S.-Canada border.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul provided an update Wednesday evening saying "At this time, there is no indication of a terrorist attack. Let me repeat that, at this time there is no indication of a terrorist-involved attack here at the Rainbow Bridge."

The FBI in Buffalo also announced late Wednesday that a multi-agency investigation "revealed no explosive materials" and "no terrorism nexus was identified."

SEE MORE: FBI: Deadly US-Canada border crash 'revealed no explosive materials'

Gov. Hochul said a vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when it hit a median, went airborne, and crashed into a U.S. Customs and Border Protection booth along the bridge before exploding into flames. Two people in the vehicle have been confirmed dead. 

"This vehicle basically incinerated. Nothing is left but the engine," Hochul added. "The pieces are scattered over 13, 14 booths, so it is a large scene and it's going to take a lot of time for our federal law enforcement partners... to be able to piece together the real story."

Multiple sources tell Scripps News Buffalo that the driver and passenger were a couple from Grand Island, New York. However, investigators said they are not releasing any information on the victims at this time.  

SEE MORE: Thanksgiving travel is off to a relatively smooth start this year

The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission said all four of its crossings — Rainbow, Lewiston, Whirlpool and Peace Bridge — were closed briefly on Wednesday, just as Thanksgiving travelers prepared to head out for the holiday, and as shoppers on both sides of the border picked up last minute items before store closures. Later Wednesday night, the Buffalo Niagara International Airport lifted its heightened security alert but said police would continue to "maintain an increased security presence" during the busy holiday travel season.


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