Washington: A large explosion ripped through a section of downtown Nashville early Friday when police responded to reports of bullets, a motorhome drove by the car, allegedly giving a warning that it carried the bomb.
The explosion broke windows and shattered trees but was reckoned for extra life, injuring only three people, as it exploded in a part of the southern US city at 6:30 am (1230 GMT) Gaya, which was largely deserted due to the opening hour and Christmas Day. Holiday.
The explosion left 20 buildings, including storefronts, severely damaged and scattered glass, tree branches, and bricks in an area filled with the road surface – trade, restaurants, and bars.
In a dramatic sequence of events that shattered Christmas morning, police responded to calls that gunfire had been fired and rushed to the scene as soon as they saw the vehicle.
Chief of Police John Drake and spokesman Don Aaron told reporters that a message while playing from the motorhome warned that there would be enough time for a bomb squad to evacuate the area for the bombing within 15 minutes.
Witnesses told the Tensian newspaper, a warning spoken in a woman’s voice, counted for the bang.
“Empty now. There’s a bomb. A bomb is in this vehicle and will explode,” one said, recalling the chilling recording.
Immediately afterward, photos shared on social media showed burning RVs and thick plums of black smoke emanating from the storefront that had burst.
The explosion occurred near an AT&T facility, and the telecommunications company told reporters: “Service to some customers in Nashville and surrounding areas may be affected by the damage to our facilities by the explosion this morning.”
Nashville International Airport announced that flights were temporarily halted due to “telecommunications issues” related to the explosion.
Tensian reported that officers were conducting door-to-door investigations.
A dog walker was heading towards the vehicle just before the explosion, the paper said, but police sent him back in another direction, possibly saving him from serious injury or death.
The explosion dropped one officer to the ground, the News paper said, and caused another officer with hearing loss.
President Donald Trump and President-Elect Joe Biden were both informed of the incident, which is being investigated by the FBI and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
The agents immediately gave no possible motive and did not make any link to any domestic terrorism conspiracy.
It was not immediately clear if there was no one in the RV when the explosion occurred.
The Metro Nashville Police Department tweeted, “It appears that a deliberate act has been done. Law enforcement is closing the city’s streets as the investigation continues.”
According to local media, firefighters said at least three people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
The explosion was large enough to be felt several kilometers away.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper said “the damage was limited, but it is dramatic”, adding that the city was “lucky” when some exploded on Christmas, when some people were in town.
“It’s unfortunate but on any other morning I think it would have been a very bad story.”
Police said many people were taken to a local station for questioning, although no arrests or details of the suspects were announced.
US Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee gave a message of concern to many public figures, saying she was “praying for all of them” and “thanking the brave first responders for keeping us safe”.
Biden released a statement saying that he and his wife Jill Biden “thank all the first responders who worked today in response to the incident, and wish those people who recovered quickly.”
Trump spokesman Jude Deere tweeted that the president is “grateful to the incredible first responders and is praying for those who were injured.”