Rainbow Bridge explosion near Niagara Falls triggered a flurry of emergency responses and online speculation, amplifying fears amid global tensions from the Israel-Hamas conflict. The incident, occurring on the eve of Thanksgiving, saw a car hitting a median, soaring into flames, and prompted bridge closures and disruptions to train services.
Niagara Falls Mayor Robert Restaino reported a surge in conspiracy theories inundating his office, including false claims of a second vehicle and threats to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Despite the lack of evidence for these rumors, fear escalated rapidly.
In response, authorities took precautionary measures, temporarily shutting down key bridges like Buffalo’s Peace Bridge to Canada and heightening security at other crossings. Amtrak suspended services between New York State and Toronto, while the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority screened vehicles for explosives at airports.
The impact reverberated as far as New York City, where Mayor Eric Adams deployed police officers at entry points to enhance security. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the interconnectedness of global events and the rapid dissemination of information, accurate or not, in the age of the internet.