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

(Reuters) -U.S. police said on Thursday they were still investigating a fiery crash on the bridge linking New York state and Ontario, Canada that sparked a security scare prompting closure of four U.S.-Canadian border crossings on Wednesday.

The Niagara Falls Police Department’s Crash Management Unit has taken over 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, formerly Twitter, 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. A CBP officer suffered minor injuries, and was treated at a hospital and released.

CNN reported the driver was a 56-year-old man 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 Israel-Hamas conflict and at the peak of U.S. holiday travel on the eve of Thanksgiving celebrations.

The Rainbow Bridge, scene of the incident, 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.

The Rainbow Bridge, which links the United States to the Canadian town of Niagara Falls, reopened to traffic in both directions at 6:30 p.m. (2330 GMT) on Thursday, according to border authorities.

(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani in Washington and David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Additional reporting by Ismail Shakil; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Jonathan Oatis and Bill Berkrot)