The damage is spectacular.
UA motorhome exploded Friday morning, Christmas Day in downtown Nashville after a freezing loudspeaker countdown, a “deliberate” act, according to police, which caused dramatic damage to the city. country music capital.
The explosion took place at 6.30 a.m. (12.30 p.m. GMT), causing extensive damage to the facades of surrounding buildings. The windows of many apartments, shops and offices have been blown out. Debris – glass, tree branches, bricks – littered the ground, water pipes were breached, and parked vehicles were damaged or burned to the ground.
At least three people were taken to hospital with minor injuries, according to firefighters.
A deliberate act according to the police
The explosion, in a shopping district, was felt for several kilometers around.
“We believe it was a deliberate act,” Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron said in an opening comment.
The neighborhood was cordoned off by the police. The FBI and the Federal Weapons and Explosives Agency have taken the lead in the investigation. And President Donald Trump “has been made aware” of the situation, the White House said.
A police patrol, who had been called shortly before 6 a.m. for the shots fired, noticed the camper van parked in front of an AT&T company building on 2nd Avenue North.
Officers “heard a recording” from inside the vehicle warning that a bomb would explode a quarter of an hour later, police chief John Drake said in the middle of the day.
“Evacuate now, there is a bomb. A bomb is in this vehicle and will explode, “said a female voice in this loudspeaker message before starting a countdown, witnesses told local newspaper Tennessean.
This delay allowed police to go door-to-door calling on residents of surrounding buildings to evacuate.
Police posted a photo of the cream-colored motorhome on Twitter, before it pulled up to the scene of the explosion and called for witnesses.
Several dog teams have inspected the area of the explosion all morning but have not found other charges, said Don Aaron.
Firefighters also examined the affected buildings for a first estimate of the extent of the damage and went door to door to look for possible victims.
The authorities did not provide further details on the ongoing investigation.
The motive for this act is currently unknown. “The vehicle exploded in front of the AT&T building, we don’t know if it was a coincidence or if it was deliberate,” the police spokesman said.
Police also do not know if anyone was inside the camper van when the explosion occurred.
The explosion took place not far from the AT&T Tower, an iconic skyscraper in the city nicknamed “Batman Tower” because of its shape.