Two killed when car explodes on Canadian border


Two people were killed and the border between the US and Canada temporarily closed on Wednesday evening (South African time) after a car crashed into a barrier on the border and exploded on the eve of Thanksgiving.

An American border officer was also injured in the process.

Witnesses say the car crashed into the checkpoint barrier at high speed before exploding in a fireball.

Warnings were issued soon after for fear that the incident could possibly be terror-related.

However, the local FBI field office can now confirm that the incident is not connected to terrorism. A preliminary investigation revealed that no explosive material was found at the scene.

According to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, the explosion occurred at the Great Rainbow Bridge border crossing near Niagara Falls, about 640 kilometers northwest of New York City. The incident caused serious disruption on one of the busiest travel days of the year – the eve of Thanksgiving (Thanksgiving) in the USA.

Rainbow Bridge, one of the busiest border crossings between Canada and the US, has 16 lanes of traffic and is usually open 24 hours a day.

Pieces of the car wreck were scattered over 14 of these lanes after the incident.

Three other nearby border crossings were closed in the wake of the incident but have since reopened, US Customs and Border Protection said.

The identity of the two victims who died in the incident is still unknown at this stage. According to reports, the victims are a married couple with the man behind the wheel and his wife in the passenger seat.

Hochul says the car may be from New York state.

“We saw this car coming towards the border and it was flying – more than 100 miles per hour (about 160 km/h),” Mike Guenther, a Canadian visiting the US, told CBS News.

According to Guenther, the car swerved before hitting the fence and going airborne.

“It went up in the air and we just saw the fireball. That’s all we could see. Everything was shrouded in smoke.”

The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, described the incident to parliament last night, shortly after it happened, as a “very serious situation”.

Dominic LeBlanc, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, said it is always a source of concern for the US and Canadian authorities when infrastructure such as a border crossing is “struck by these types of violent circumstances”.