Two individuals were killed in a car explosion at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing between the United States and Canada. Officials have stated that there is no evidence of terrorist involvement.

Two individuals were killed in a car explosion at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing between the United States and Canada. Officials have stated that there is no evidence of terrorist involvement.

According to reports, an explosion occurred in a vehicle at Rainbow Bridge, a border crossing between the U.S. and Canada near Niagara Falls in western New York on Wednesday afternoon, resulting in the death of two individuals. Authorities closed four other border crossings in the area while they investigated the incident, but three have since reopened. Rainbow Bridge remains closed.

Several sources from law enforcement agencies have verified to CBS News that the car explosion resulted in the deaths of two individuals. According to an official from law enforcement, it is currently unknown what the nationalities of the deceased are.

Two individuals, identified as a married couple, were confirmed by U.S. law enforcement officials to have passed away on Wednesday evening. The husband was operating the vehicle while his wife was a passenger. The officials stated that the car in question was a Bentley, estimated to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The car is seen speeding and becoming airborne in a video shared by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Hochul reported that a border patrol agent at the customs station sustained minor injuries and was transported to a medical facility, where they were treated and discharged.

Initial evaluations by federal officials and law enforcement suggest that the car was moving at a fast pace before it struck a curb, causing it to break through a fence and enter a Customs and Border Protection inspection area. The vehicle then caught fire and detonated. Witnesses have reported to authorities that the car became airborne upon impact with the fence, and then exploded upon landing, according to a source from CBS News, Pat Milton.

According to Scott Sweetow, the ex-chief of the FBI’s Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center, the explosion could possibly be attributed to a “fuel-air explosion,” which occurs when a combination of fuel and air is ignited.

“I hypothesize that, as a result of the car’s high velocity and near disintegration, the fuel in the punctured gas tank moved forward and combined with air, forming a cloud of gasoline. This then ignited, resulting in the striking fireball witnessed by all,” Sweetow explained to CBS News.

The authorities have yet to establish if the collision was intentional or unintentional, based on initial evaluations and information from law enforcement.

At a press conference on Wednesday evening, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Miraglia stated that there are currently no signs of any terrorism threat from the source.

The person in charge did not share information about the individuals in the vehicle, stating that they were still informing their family members. They also mentioned that there was no negative information known about the identified individual.

During the briefing, U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross stated, “We will persist in our investigation, but our initial evaluation indicates that this incident is not related to terrorism. However, we will remain vigilant.”

Mike Guenther, a Canadian citizen who was in New York at the time, stated that he observed a vehicle racing towards the border crossing while he was walking nearby.

“He was traveling at a speed of over 100 miles per hour. Suddenly, a car appeared in his path and he skillfully maneuvered around it, ultimately crashing into a fence and soaring into the air. In an interview with NewsNation, he described the terrifying scene as a fireball and a cloud of smoke.”

According to Guenther, the car was traveling from the United States to Canada.

Incident at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing in Niagara Falls

On November 22, 2023, at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing between the United States and Canada in Niagara Falls, New York, a Customs and Border Protection officer observed a vehicle on fire.

This message was shared by Saleman Alwishah via REUTERS as a courtesy.

According to Randie Wilson, a tour guide in Niagara Falls, the accident was comparable to a movie. Wilson stated that he was exiting his vehicle when he noticed an object in the air. Initially, he believed it was a plane and described the scene as if it were happening in slow motion. He then exclaimed, “Oh my God, it’s a car!”

The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, stated in a parliamentary speech that the Canadian government is in close communication with officials from the United States. He also mentioned that they are considering and implementing extra measures at all border crossings throughout the country.

Trudeau expressed deep concern and commitment to addressing this issue with utmost seriousness.

Governor Hochul stated previously that the New York State Police is collaborating with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to oversee all entry points into New York. She also mentioned that she was en route to Buffalo to hold a meeting with law enforcement and first responders.

Border Crossing Explosion Scene

Police have closed the entrance to the Rainbow Bridge border crossing in Niagara Falls, N.Y. after a vehicle exploded on November 22, 2023.

Carolyn Thompson / AP

According to New York’s Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the FBI has provided him with information. Schumer stated on social media that the current information suggests that the two individuals who were killed were in the car, but there is no confirmation on their identity or reason for the incident. He also mentioned that law enforcement is being extra cautious during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Aside from Rainbow Bridge, which is a well-liked route for tourists between Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario in Canada, three other bridges in the same area on the border between the United States and Canada were shut down after the incident. These include the Peace Bridge, Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, and Whirlpool Bridge.

The Niagara Regional Police stated on Wednesday that American authorities were allowing traffic to resume on the other three bridges, but the Rainbow Bridge will remain closed as the investigation continues.

Incident at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing in Niagara Falls

On November 22, 2023, in Niagara Falls, New York, law enforcement officials have closed off roads and walkways following an event at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing between the United States and Canada.


The Buffalo Niagara International Airport is currently open and operating normally with increased security measures. The Federal Aviation Administration had previously announced the temporary closure of the airport for international flights on Wednesday afternoon.

On Wednesday evening, the Buffalo airport announced that their heightened security alert had been lifted. However, police will still have a strong security presence during this busy travel period.

U.S. travelers during one of the 

The most hectic times for travel during the year.

The Transportation Security Administration has announced an increase in the presence of law enforcement and canine units on the transportation system. This is due to the current state of world events and the perceived threat level, resulting in heightened security measures.

Eric Adams, the Mayor of New York City, issued a statement regarding the recent explosion at the Rainbow Bridge in Buffalo. He stated that the NYPD and his team have been closely monitoring the situation and have already dispatched officers to assist with efforts on the ground. Additionally, security measures have been heightened in collaboration with other agencies in anticipation of the upcoming holiday, resulting in increased security presence at various locations throughout the city.

The Toronto police department announced that they will be boosting security measures in response to an incident at the Canada-US border. They will have more uniformed officers patrolling the city as a precautionary measure, although there are no current threats to Toronto.

The report includes contributions from Pat Milton, Robert Legare, Andres Triay, Catherine Herridge, Nicole Sganga, and Camilo Montoya-Galvez.

Cara Tabachnick