New York’s Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) was briefly closed to international flights on November 22, 2023 after an explosion rocked the Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge at the United States-Canada border.
The explosion occurred at around 11:30 local time, the day before Thanksgiving, considered to be one of the busiest travel days of the year in the US.
Train services between New York and Canada were temporarily halted and officers at Buffalo airport and Niagara Falls International Airport (NIA) went into a heightened state of alert screening cars for explosives.
Reuters reported that BUF was closed momentarily, although the airport later issued an update via X (formerly Twitter) stating that the airport remained operational but additional security screenings would be in place for arriving vehicles.
There were initial speculations that the explosion was linked to terrorism. However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and New York governor Kathy Hochul confirmed that the incident had no links to terrorism.
Law enforcement officers told CNN that a man was driving a 2022 Bently at high speed with his wife when the vehicle hit a curb, sending it airborne and hurtling over an eight-foot fence. The vehicle was in flames when it landed, and was completely incinerated.
Footage shared on social media and from surveillance cameras show the car at various angles when it was speeding, flying through the air, and bursting into flames.
Both the husband and wife were reported to have died, and a border patrol employee in a booth also suffered minor injuries.
Reports indicate that the couple intended to watch a KISS concert in Canada, but headed to a casino in the US when the event was canceled.
Further investigations are still underway and it is not yet not known whether the crash was intentional or an accident.