RV that blew up in Nashville sounded a warning for people to evacuate
In Nashville, a recreational vehicle exploded early Christmas morning and damaged several buildings in the downtown area - after a terrifying record from the RV warned people about the evacuation.
Police responded to a report of gunshots being fired when they found the vehicle was playing a tape stating a bomb would go off in 15 minutes, said John Drake, chief of police for Metro Nashville. The police evacuated nearby buildings and called the bomb squad.
"Shortly afterwards the motor home exploded," said Drake.
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The explosion occurred on Friday at 6:29 a.m. local time.
Three people were hospitalized for injuries that were not classified as critical, according to Joseph Pleasant, spokesman for the Nashville Fire Department.
The environment remains closed while the explosion is investigated.
Communication in Nashville was cut for parts of Christmas morning when the RV exploded right outside an AT&T building. The communication disruption temporarily resulted in flights at Nashville International Airport.
"It looks like a bomb went off," said Mayor John Cooper as he investigated the damage.
Speaking to reporters, the mayor said that people who might seek attention sometimes think they can get it in town or during such acts.
"It's not just New York and Los Angeles, it can be Nashville," he said. “It feels a bit of a tragedy, you hate using that word. ... It was made clear when no one would be around. ... It would be a different message if it were 5 pm. on a Friday. "
Cooper added that "mental health is obviously becoming a problem and a consideration," but said, "We shouldn't jump to conclusions.
"It's been quite a year. Adding (a) blast to the list ... just seems like 2020."
Police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters that prior to the explosion, authorities received shots fired in the area. Although the officers saw no evidence of gunfire, they found the suspicious vehicle in front of the AT&T building and called the bomb squad.
The investigators have not yet identified a motive. The vehicle exploded while the bombing squad responded, and it is not known whether anyone was inside at the time of the "significant explosion".
Although there is currently no evidence of a secondary device, explosive detection dogs are searching the area “out of caution”.
"The immediate downtown area has been cordoned off by law enforcement when we conduct this investigation," said Aaron, conducted by the FBI, ATF and Metro Police Department.
Buildings in downtown areas, particularly Second Avenue North, are searched for people who may still be inside.
The explosion knocked one of our officers to the ground. Fortunately, no officers were significantly injured, "said Aaron, who noted that one officer was upholding what" we hope it's temporary hearing loss. "
Some people were taken to the local district for questioning.
At a press conference on Friday afternoon, Aaron said authorities knew "there is no imminent threat to the city at this point".
He confirmed reports that warnings were coming from the RV before it exploded.
Those with information about the incident are asked to call the FBI phone number at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
(The New York Daily News reporter Joseph Wilkinson helped.)
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