Four Canada-US border crossings closed as vehicle explodes

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by Emily Atkins

Four border crossings between Canada and the US are closed after a single vehicle made a high-speed run onto the bridge on the US side of the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, crashed and exploded.

A vehicle exploded at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing on Wednesday, November 22, 2023. Chorkor Millionaire/Facebook

Two occupants in the car were killed and there was damage to structures on the US side.

The Rainbow Bridge, Whirlpool Bridge, Peace Bridge, Queeston/Lewiston crossings were all closed around noon on Wednesday.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau addressed the situation in the House of Commons, saying it was a very serious situation. “Additional measures are being contemplated and activated at all border crossings across the country,” he said.

“This is obviously a very serious situation,“ Canadian Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc told reporters Wednesday. “It’s a source of concern for the government of Canada and for the United States so we’re taking this circumstance very seriously but to speculate on the origin of this particular circumstance … when we don’t have reliable verified information is not responsible.”

“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,” said New York governor Kathy Hochul in a statement Wednesday.

“I am traveling to Buffalo to meet with law enforcement and emergency responders and will update New Yorkers when more information becomes available.”

Security has been stepped up at the Buffalo airport and international flights have been halted.

About two million trucks cross the Peace and Queeston/Lewiston bridges every year, according to numbers released by the Bridge and Tunnel Operators Association (BTOA) in 2021. The Rainbow Bridge and Whirlpool bridges do not carry truck traffic.