Fatalities reported after vehicle explosion at Rainbow Bridge border crossing


Multiple U.S. border crossings in Niagara Falls are closed following a vehicle explosion at Rainbow Bridge on Wednesday that reportedly left two people dead.

Sources tell CTV News that Canadian officials are operating under the assumption that the incident is terror-related.

The explosion took place just after 1 p.m. on the U.S. side of the crossing, according to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Buffalo field office.

According to multiple reports, two individuals believed to be in the vehicle have been pronounced dead.

Latest updates at 3:20 p.m.

  •  All Niagara Region border crossings are closed, including the Rainbow Bridge, the Peace Bridge, the Whirlpool Bridge and the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge.
  •  A meeting of all Canadian security related organizations is underway.
  •  Two individuals have been pronounced dead, according to multiple reports.

Image shows the aftermath of a vehicle explosion on the U.S. side of Rainbow Bridge on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.

An official at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center in New York confirmed there have been fatalities in relation to the incident although the number remains unclear. One patient injured in the explosion is also being treated at the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, the official said.

National security sources confirmed to CTV News that government officials are operating under the assumption this incident is terror-related. They are trying to determine if the incident was isolated, they said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he had been briefed by Canada’s National Security and Intelligence Advisor on the situation.

“We are in contact with the U.S Officials. The Minister of Public Safety, RCMP and CBSA are fully engaged and providing all necessary support,” the prime minister's statement reads.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford also confirmed he had been briefed and that provincial law enforcement is assessing the situation.

In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul said she has directed New York state police, alongside the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, to monitor all entry points into the state.

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

Officials have also closed the Rainbow, Peace, Whirlpool and Queenston-Lewiston Bridge crossings as well, the OPP confirmed.