What may have been a VBIED shook the downtown area at 6:30 a.m. local time in Nashville. The Nashville explosion appears to be intentional, according to officials. Three people were injured in the explosion and taken to the hospital. The Nashville Metro Police, FBI, and ATF are investigating. Between 3 and 5 people have been arrested, but it’s unlcear at this point why or who. The FBI has the lead in the investigation.
Update: The exploded vehicle was an RV that contained an audio tape that said that vehicle would blow up in 15 minujtes. As police rushed to evacuate the area, it exploded.
Police were originally called to the area for a report of “shots fired.” When they saw a suspicious vehicle, they called in the bomb squad (hazardous unit). The vehicle exploded before the bomb squad arrived. Police were unable to determine whether anyone was inside the car at the time. Bomb sniffing dogs were deployed to find any other devices.
Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said police responded to a call of shots fired just before 6 a.m. but found no immediate signs of a shooting, although officers noticed a suspicious vehicle and called for a hazardous unit. While they waited, the vehicle exploded.
Aaron said three people were taken to area hospitals for treatment, although none were in critical condition. He said some people were taken to the department’s central precinct for questioning but declined to give more details.Associated Press
The Nashville explosion caused extensive damage to several buildings in the downtown area, including apartments and restaurants like hte Old Spaghetti Factory. Buck McCoy, who lives near the blast zone, took a video of the damage:
All my windows, every single one of them got blown into the next room. If I had been standing there it would have been horrible. It felt like a bomb. It was that big.
There were about four cars on fire. I don’t know if it was so hot they just caught on fire, and the trees were all blown apart.Buck McCoy to AP
Jason Steen, a reporter in Nashville tweeted:
A building has collapsed as a result of the explosion in downtown Nashville. NFD is retreating immediately – with all personnel accounted for and evacuating the building now.
NFD reports “20-30 people evacuated” from upper lofts – <5 require medical attention at this time, calling them the “walking wounded” w/non-serious injuries.
Building is “devastated”, vehicles on road are burning, NFD is about to extinguish them with water from Engine 9 – most human injuries so far are non-life-threatening.Jason Steen on Twitter
President Trump has been briefed, as has Governor Bill Lee. When more information is released, we will update this report.
Featured photo: screenshot via Twitter (Herman Patton)
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