The FBI has stated that a car accident at the US-Canada border, resulting in the deaths of two individuals and injuries to a border officer, is not considered an act of terrorism. The incident occurred during the hectic Thanksgiving travel season.
The organization gave responsibility for the investigation to authorities in the area, who are examining the reason behind a high-end car racing toward a border checkpoint, crossing a barrier, becoming airborne, colliding with a structure, and erupting into flames.
According to FBI officials, CNN stated that the vehicle involved was a Bentley and the occupants were initially headed towards Toronto for a Kiss concert that evening. However, the concert was cancelled hours prior. The driver is believed to be from the western part of New York state.
The Rainbow Bridge is currently not open due to the holiday, which happens to be one of the most hectic days for travel.
The police department at Niagara Falls did not provide a response to a comment request. They had previously stated that they would not disclose the identities of the vehicle passengers until they were able to confirm their identities and notify their next of kin.
Due to concerns about a potential terrorist attack, officials closed three nearby border crossings – Lewiston, Whirlpool, and Peace Bridge – on Wednesday. However, all of them have since been reopened.
Although there were initial media reports of a terrorist attack, the FBI stated that they found no proof of explosive devices. However, certain government officials still made comments before the investigation of the area was completed.
After making inaccurate posts on social media about a driver entering Canada, Mike Kelly, a Republican Congressman from Pennsylvania, stated that he had previously raised concerns about the increase of potential terrorists entering the country through the Northern border.
Meanwhile in Canada, the leader of the Conservative party, Pierre Poilievre, urged the prime minister to address the public following initial media coverage of a potential “terrorist attack”.
“The government’s main duty is to ensure the safety and well-being of its citizens. Can the prime minister provide us with an update on the current situation and the steps that will be taken to improve home security for our people?”
Trudeau informed the parliament that he had received a briefing, and there were still many uncertainties surrounding the incident.
According to New York governor Kathy Hochul, there is currently no evidence of terrorist involvement in the tragic explosion that took place in western New York. However, more details may emerge as the initial investigation continues.
According to her, the car was completely destroyed in the accident.
The mayor of Niagara Falls, located on the Ontario side of the border, stated to CBC News that the community is experiencing a tumultuous mix of emotions due to conflicting information from various media sources. Jim Diodati, the mayor, explained that many residents live on one side of the border and work on the other, making the situation even more concerning. He expressed disbelief at the situation, stating, “We couldn’t believe it.”
The premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, announced that the provincial police were actively involved in the investigation.
Because the crash is extensive and intricate, law enforcement predicts that the inquiry will require a significant amount of time to finish. The border crossing is not projected to resume until at least Friday.