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Car explosion on Rainbow Bridge

Submitted + UPDATED

Wed, Nov 22nd 2023 12:55 pm

On Wednesday afternoon, the City of Niagara Falls announced, “The Rainbow Bridge is closed until further notice. There has been an incident involving a vehicle coming into the United States. Federal authorities are currently investigating the situation.”

Shortly after that Niagara County Legislature Chairwoman Becky Wydysh, Niagara County Sheriff Michael Filicetti and Director of Emergency Management Jonathan Schultz released a joint statement that read, “Niagara County officials are at the Rainbow Bridge, along with multiple state and local agencies, with appropriate resources to support the investigation of today’s car explosion. This is a federal incident and the investigation will be led by the federal government. As such, we will not be making any additional public comments, as we will defer to lead investigators so there is a single point of communication to the public and media.” 

New York State Sen. Rob Ortt added, “My office is currently monitoring the incident that occurred this morning at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing, and I have been in communication with Gov. Hochul’s office, Congressman Higgins’ office, our Niagara County sheriff and other local electeds. At this moment, our thoughts and concerns are with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, Canadian Border Service agents, members of law enforcement, and their families.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul said, “I have been briefed on the situation that occurred at the Rainbow Bridge in Buffalo. At my direction, the New York State Police is actively working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor all points of entry to New York. I am traveling to Buffalo to meet with law enforcement and emergency responders and will update New Yorkers when more information becomes available.”

At 2:13 p.m., the City of Niagara Falls announced, “There has been an explosion involving a vehicle on the Rainbow Bridge. The Rainbow Bridge, along with the Peace Bridge, Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and Whirlpool Bridge, have been closed per Customs and Border Patrol until further notice. Federal agencies are currently leading the investigation.”

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