All border crossings between Niagara and U.S. closed

Authorities have confirmed that two people who were in a vehicle that exploded at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing in Niagara Falls are dead. The explosion prompted the closure of all four international bridges between Canada and Western New York. The FBI Buffalo Field Office said it was coordinating with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners in the investigation. The CEO of the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority confirmed the explosion was on the U.S. side of the Rainbow Bridge.It’s not clear what caused the blast at this point. Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued a statement saying: “Our provincial law enforcement is actively engaged in assessing the situation. They are working with local law enforcement and are providing support as required.” A meeting of all security related organizations and departments was being held Wednesday afternoon, including the Canada Border Services Agency, the RCMP, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s National Security and Intelligence Advisor. Officials are trying to determine if this is an isolated incident, and are in contact with U.S officials. Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc says national security and public safety officials are “doing absolutely everything that Canadians would expect at this moment to ensure that the border crossings can operate safely, that their security is ensured.” The U.S. transportation agency released a statement saying the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is “increasing security system-wide.” It said cars entering Buffalo’s airport will undergo security checks and travellers can “expect additional screenings.” The Buffalo and Niagara Falls airports are fully operational. O.P.P. Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says “We have major issues happening right now at the U.S. borders in the Niagara Region.Niagara Regional Police, Niagara Parks Police as well as Canada Border Services are working on an incident in that area.” Schmidt said to expect heavy delays in the Niagara area and encouraged people in the area to delay travel.