On Thursday, authorities announced that the US-Canada border crossing at Niagara Falls, which was the location of the tragic automobile explosion, was reopened.
On the eve of a big holiday, a high-speed vehicle slammed into a checkpoint barrier at Rainbow Bridge and burst into flames the day before, closing borders and setting up a huge security alert.
Terrorism was not a factor in the explosion, according to the local FBI field office. The explosion happened approximately 640 kilometers northwest of New York City.
The Canada Border Services Agency said that the Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge port of entry is back to normal after a recent service disruption.
The event occurred just before Thanksgiving, a day when millions of Americans travel by air and car.
With sixteen lanes and an open schedule all day, every day, the Rainbow Bridge is one of the busiest international bridges connecting North America.
According to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, debris had spread across fourteen lanes after the accident.
The cause of the acceleration, crash, and subsequent fire in a vehicle traveling from the United States to Canada is under investigation.
On Wednesday morning, an incident occurred on the Rainbow Bridge at Niagara Falls, on the US-Canada border.
Tragically, the couple in the car lost their lives, while a US border agent was hurt.
As investigators try to piece together what transpired, the bridge reopened on Thursday night.
Authorities closed numerous ports of entry between the US and Canada in the area on the eve of Thanksgiving as a precautionary measure after the crash initially caused a significant security panic.
The identity of the pair in the automobile is one of many unknowns; later, New York Governor Kathy Hochul ruled out terrorism.
A major interruption occurred on Wednesday, one of the busiest traffic days of the year leading up to American Thanksgiving, when an explosion occurred at approximately 11:30 local time (16:30 GMT).
State of New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the vehicle was going at a “very high rate of speed” as it careened over a fence that was 8 feet (2.4 meters) high near a border crossing.
Ms. Hochul stated that the car had been “incinerated” and that the sole remaining component was the engine. Nothing was found, not even a license plate.
American authorities have verified that the couple seated in the vehicle are married. Why they crashed is still a mystery, though.
The New York Times was informed by Robert Restaino, the mayor of Niagara Falls in New York, that the couple, who were both in their 50s, were business owners from neighboring Grand Island.
According to Mr. Restaino, the group was traveling in an older Bentley model to what was supposedly a Kiss concert in Canada that was later canceled.
The possibility that the vehicle experienced a technical malfunction leading to its acceleration is one of the factors being investigated by the police, according to Mr. Restaino.
The Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, a casino not far from the Rainbow Bridge in New York, where the car pulled over for a short period, has announced that it is helping the authorities with their investigation.
Connecting the Canadian and American sides of Niagara Falls, the Rainbow Bridge carries both pedestrians and vehicular traffic across the Niagara River.
Jim Diodati, the mayor of Niagara Falls, Canada, described the moments immediately following the explosion as a “emotional roller-coaster” due to the early concerns of a terrorist strike and the difficulty for officials to comprehend what had transpired.
In a statement, the Buffalo branch of the FBI said that their investigation at the scene had come to a close.
The investigation revealed “no explosive materials, and no terrorism nexus was identified” .
The Niagara Falls Police Department has been tasked with conducting a traffic investigation into the situation. The police department stated that they are trying to determine who was involved and give their relatives a heads up, but that “the investigation will take some time” because of the incident’s intricacy.
Those in the vicinity, whether Canadians or Americans, have felt the effects of the shutdown. The detonation shook the ground in the US Customs and Border Patrol building where one eyewitness, Dor Tamang of Toronto, was processing immigration documents on the American side of the border.
After that, he and around twelve others were ordered to return to Canada by foot, leaving their vehicles on the US side.
An Ohioan named Aaron Beatty said on Wednesday that he had crossed into Canada early in the morning in order to view Niagara Falls.
“I said, ‘oh, I’ll just cross over to the Canadian side for a quick hour to see the other side and walk back,” according to Mr. Beatty.
However, a border agent advised him to return to Canada as he was about to reenter the US.
As of this past Wednesday night, “that one hour turned into almost eight hours now,” Mr. Beatty announced.
While the Peace, Queenston-Lewiston, and Whirlpool Rapids Bridges were temporarily blocked, they were all back open to traffic by Wednesday evening, connecting the US and Canada in the vicinity.