New York: Police identify victims of Rainbow Bridge vehicle explosion

Kurt P. Villani and Monica Villani, both 53 years old, were identified as a married couple from Grand Island, N.Y. They were killed when their car crashed at the U.S.-Canada border.

Police identified the victims of the fatal accident caused by a car explosion on the Rainbow Bridge, which crosses the border between the United States and Canada).

As reported by the Niagara Falls Police Department (NFPD) in a press release obtained by Fox, Kurt P. Villani and Monica Villani (both 53 years old), a married couple residing in Grand Island, N.Y., died when their vehicle crashed at the border crossing:

The City of Niagara Falls would like to extend our sincere condolences to the families as they deal with this tragedy.

The Niagra Falls Police Department commented that the event is still under investigation, as its true cause and motives are not known, and that they will offer more details in the coming days.

Terrorist attack ruled out

On Wednesday around 11:30 a.m., the FBI and local authorities reported that the Rainbow Bridge, which connects the United States and Canada via Niagara Falls, had been closed due to the explosion of a vehicle that was crossing from Canada to the U.S.

According to what sources close to the investigation told CNN, "The speeding vehicle hit a curb, then a guardrail that sent the vehicle airborne and into a secondary screening area."

Police sources first believed that the explosion "was an attempted terrorist attack" and that there were "explosives" in the car. However, after further investigations, Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul reported that there were no signs of terrorist involvement in the event:

There's been no indication based on any online threats, anyone taking credit for anything ... There is no sign of terrorist activity with respect to this crash ... Based on what's happening in other parts of the world, everybody is on edge, and this is an international border ... I won't call it an accident, it has not been determined to be an accident. ... All I know is that was a horrific incident, a crash, an explosion, loss of life, but at this time no known terrorist connection.

The Buffalo FBI shared in a post on X, formerly Twitter, saying it found no "terrorism nexus" nor explosive materials.

FBI Buffalo has concluded our investigation at the scene of the Rainbow Bridge incident. A search of the scene revealed no explosive materials, and no terrorism nexus was identified. The matter has been turned over to the Niagara Falls Police Department as a traffic investigation.

Witness: 'It was almost like a movie'

The Erie County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services reported that all four bridges between Canada and the United States over the Niagara River were closed following the incident.

A witness to the crash named Rickie Wilson testified to CNN affiliate WKBW that the scene "was almost like a movie." The witness detailed that he momentarily thought it was a plane. He said the car was spinning when it came back to the ground and then hit something when it landed.