The Rainbow Bridge connecting the U.S. and Canada has been closed after a vehicle crashed into the checkpoint structure, causing an explosion, according to four senior law enforcement officials briefed on the matter.
Two people are dead after the vehicle was traveling at a high speed when it hit the structure, caught on fire, and exploded. A Customs and Border Protection officer also suffered minor injuries that did not require hospitalization.
The FBI is investigating whether the crash was intentional. The White House is also monitoring the situation, a White House official said.
The Niagara Falls mayor’s office said the vehicle was crossing into the U.S. from Canada. The vehicle was directed to a secondary security checkpoint, which is when the vehicle sped up and crashed into the secondary screening location.
“We are taking this extraordinarily seriously,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. “We are following up to try and get as many answers as rapidly as possible. … Additional measures are being contemplated and activated at all border crossings across the country.”
Investigators have found a briefcase on the scene and are treating it as a possible explosive device as a precaution. The bomb squad was called and is handling the package.
“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,” New York Gov. Kathy Hogul said. “I am traveling to Buffalo to meet with law enforcement and emergency responders and will update New Yorkers when more information becomes available.”