- An RV exploded in downtown Nashville on Friday morning, according to local reports.
- Buildings are damaged, and three people were taken to hospitals.
- Local authorities told CNN that they believe the act was done intentionally.
- A video circulating online appears to show a recording telling people to leave the area just before the explosion set off.
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Local emergency services were dispatched after an explosion rattled downtown Nashville early on Christmas morning, damaging buildings and blowing out windows.
CNN reported that authorities said they believe the incident was done intentionally.
“We do believe this to have been an intentional act,” Don Aaron, a spokesperson with the Metro Nashville Police Department, told CNN. “Significant damage has been done to the infrastructure there on 2nd Avenue North.”
At least three people have been transported to hospitals, CNN reported. There aren’t yet any reports of critical injuries, a representative of the Nashville fire department told CNN.
CBS News first reported that possible human remains were found near the explosion, but law enforcement sources told the outlet it’s still unclear if the remains belonged to a victim or someone connected to the explosion.
The explosion came from a parked RV, ABC News reported. Emergency crews are attempting to determine the cause of the explosion. One local business owner told The Tennessean that the RV had been there since at least Thursday night.
—Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 25, 2020
John Drake, chief of the Metro Nashville Police Department, told a local Fox News affiliate that the area was immediately evacuated after one officer noticed an RV playing a recording that warned people to leave the area.
The recording announced that a bomb would go off in 15 minutes, according to reports..
“There were a number of people who did evacuate and then we know of some people, it didn’t go off when the message said it would, and so people started coming back in, and then it went off,” Nashville Vice Mayor Jim Shulman told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Buck McCoy, who lives near the area, told the Associated Press: “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,” he added. Local reports said the explosion could be heard from miles away.
Police say the explosion occurred outside a building on Second Avenue North. They closed a 10-block radius around the explosion site.
Authorities are not aware of whether anyone was inside the vehicle.
Local and federal agencies, including the FBI, are investigating the incident, according to a press release from the Nashville Police Department. The area has been shut down to accommodate the investigation.
As the Tennessean reported, the explosion caused damage to AT&T facilities which affected service for some in Nashville and other nearby areas, a spokesperson told the outlet. Flights from the Nashville International Airport and emergency lines like 911 access to police was also disrupted as a result of the explosion, the Tennessean reported.
The company is actively working with local authorities to repair services as well as dispatched their National Disaster Recovery teams to help fix the problem, AT&T said in a statement Friday evening.
“Power is essential to restoring wireless and wireline communications and we are working with law enforcement to get access to our equipment and make needed repairs. Given the damage to our facility, it will take time to restore service,” the company said in the statement. “We have already rerouted significant traffic from this facility and are bringing in other equipment, including numerous portable cell sites to the area.”
In a tweet shortly after the incident, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee expressed his condolences for those injured.
“We will supply all of the resources needed to determine what happened and who was responsible,” he said, adding he is “praying for those who were injured and we thank all of our first responders who acted so quickly this morning.”
President Donald Trump has been briefed on the incident and “will continue to receive regular updates,” said White House spokesperson Judd Deere. “The President is grateful for the incredible first responders and praying for those who were injured.”
This story is developing. Please check back for more updates.