Huge explosion rips through Nashville after police find vehicle playing recording that claimed it was a bomb
First responders watch the devastation in downtown Nashville after an RV explosion rocked the city's Christmas morning. (Nashville Fire Department)
A large explosion struck part of downtown Nashville on early Christmas morning. Police said the explosion was intentional and reported finding a parked RV with a recorded message playing. The message warned officials that a bomb hidden in the vehicle was about to explode.
The Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management told local broadcaster News 2 that a parked RV exploded around 6:30 a.m., damaging at least 20 surrounding buildings.
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Nashville Fire spokesman Joseph Pleasant said three people had been rushed to the hospital even though none were in critical condition.
The FBI has taken over the investigation. The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are also supporting the investigation. Police dogs trained to spy on accelerators are used to search for other potential bombs.
The Tennessean reported that several people had been brought to the department's headquarters for questioning, but police declined to provide any further details about these people.
Nashville police announced that a 10 block radius of downtown streets would be closed if they investigate the scene further. A spokeswoman for the Metro Nashville Police Department said the location of the explosion was an "active scene".
Police were called at 6 a.m. this morning to check on a suspicious vehicle parked outside the AT&T office building - the tallest skyscraper in the city - and called a dangerous equipment division to investigate.
Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said the police were originally called on-site to investigate reports of gunfire. Although the police found no evidence of gunfire in the area, they discovered the motor home, which prompted them to alert the bomb squad.
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