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Investigators still probing cause of fiery car crash at US-Canada border


A vehicle burns at the Rainbow Bridge U.S. border crossing with Canada, in Niagara Falls, New York, U.S. November 22, 2023 in a still image from video. Courtesy Saleman Alwishah via REUTERS/File Photo

U.S. police said on Thursday they were still investigating a fiery crash on the bridge linking New York state and Ontario on Wednesday, which sparked a security scare that closed four U.S.-Canadian border crossings.

The Niagara Falls police department’s Crash Management Unit has taken over the investigation of the incident, which was determined by U.S. federal agencies, including the FBI, not to have been a terrorist event.

“Due to the complexity of the incident, the investigation will take some time to complete,” Niagara Falls Police Department Superintendent John Faso said in a statement. “At this time the identity of those involved is pending positive identification and notification to next of kin.”

Video of the crash caught on security camera and posted to X by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency showed the car traveling from the U.S. side at high speed, then hitting an object and flying into the air before crashing to the ground and exploding in flames.

The driver and a passenger died in the wreck. A CBP officer suffered minor injuries. He was treated at a hospital and released. CNN reported the driver was a 56-year-old man who was traveling with his wife to attend a concert by the rock group KISS.

The crash unfolded at a time of heightened security concerns around the world stemming from the conflict in the Middle East and at the peak of U.S. holiday travel on the eve of Thanksgiving celebrations.

The Rainbow Bridge and all three other border crossings along the Niagara River between western New York and the Canadian province of Ontario – the Peace Bridge, the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and the Whirlpool Bridge – were shut for several hours as a precaution. The three bridges that were not involved were reopened early Wednesday evening.

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