The first “intelligence chatter” came into Falls police around 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.
“We received information on a vehicle, traveling from Canada toward the United States with explosives,” Falls Police Lt. Dave Kok said, “We immediately dispatched patrol vehicles to the area of the border to be on the alert for the vehicle.”
At 8 a.m., Customs and Border Protection agents at the Rainbow Bridge, who were also on alert for the vehicle, got a call from Niagara Regional Police and the Canadian Border Services Agency.
“We had a suspicious van that started coming over the bridge, from the Canadian side,” CBP Agent Greg Bennett said. “The vehicle stopped on the bridge and two people got out. There was also a report of an explosion near the van.”
Bridge surveillance cameras captured video of the two people leaving a backpack near the van and walking away with another knapsack. American and Canadian authorities immediately shut down the bridge, cleared it of traffic and activated an emergency response.
It could have been a terrorist event. In reality, it was only a drill.
Canada-U.S. Joint Emergency Drill at Niagara Falls Rainbow Bridge