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Identification of victims of the ;Rainbow Bridge car explosion

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A vehicle explosion on the Rainbow Border Bridge is now the subject of a traffic investigation, led by Niagara Falls police. (Archive photo)


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Police in Niagara Falls, New York, confirm the identities of two people killed in the crash and explosion of a vehicle Wednesday at the entrance to the Rainbow Bridge, which connects the United States and Canada.

In a news release Friday, the Niagara Falls Police Department (NFPD) says the two victims are Kurt P. Villani and his wife Monica Villani, both 53 years old and from Grand Island, New York .

The incident is currently under investigation by the Human Resources Management Unit. NFPD accidents, no further details are available at this time, law enforcement added.

According to authorities, the vehicle crossed an intersection, struck a median and was thrown into the air before hitting a line of cabins and exploding on the American side of the bridge.

The accident sparked speculation about the origin of the explosion and a series of closures of cross-border crossings in the region, including the Rainbow Bridge.

The FBI investigation concluded Wednesday that no explosives were found at the scene and no terrorist core was identified. The case was transferred to the NFPD as a traffic investigation.

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Access to the Rainbow Bridge has been closed until Thursday. (File photo)

The Rainbow Bridge reopened to traffic Thursday evening, according to the Canada Border Services Agency.< /p>

The three other border bridges between the Niagara region and Western New York that were closed Wednesday were able to reopen later in the day.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116