A huge bomb explosion rocked the city of Nashville, capital of the US state of Tennessee, early morning on Christmas Day. The explosion has caused destruction for several blocks, but suspects or motive behind the bomb is yet to be determined.
The detonated bomb was found inside a parked RV on Nashville’s historic Second Avenue near Lower Broadway. Police have found what they believe are human remains but had not confirmed fatalities.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper said Friday evening that that relief that not more people were injured has now turned to anger and determination to bring those responsible of the bomb explosion to justice.
“This was a terrible day, but Nashville has faced other challenges, particularly this year. We can rebuild and get back to normal,” he said. “This morning’s attack on our community was intended to create chaos and fear in this season of peace and hope, but the spirit of our city cannot be broken.”
Authorities say the explosion was deliberate and intentional.
Police first saw the RV outside a nearby AT&T building at 6 am, when initially responding to calls of shots fired in the area.
There was no evidence of any shooting, but officers and witnesses head a broadcast coming from the RV giving a dire warning: “Evacuate now. There is a bomb. A bomb is in the vehicle and will explode.”
Then, the voice started a 15-minute countdown.
Police officers at the scene quickly began to evacuate the area, going door to door.
The RV exploded at 6:30 am as the bomb squad was en route. The force of the explosion knocked an officer to the ground and gave another officer a temporary hearing loss. Three people were hospitalized with injuries.
The “tissue” found near the site had to be examined to confirm if human. There were no reports of fatalities as of Friday afternoon.
I have signed Executive Order 12 to issue a state of civil emergency proclaimed within the area bounded by James Robertson Parkway, 4th Ave north, Broadway and the Cumberland River. A curfew will start at 4:30pm, Friday Dec 25. and be lifted Sunday, December 27 at 4:30pm. pic.twitter.com/jZ484LrHZ7— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) December 25, 2020
Mayor Cooper had issued a state of civil emergency at the explosion site and surrounding area on Friday afternoon. A 4:30 pm curfew has been put in place from Friday until Sunday.
At least 41 businesses in the area had been damaged in connection to the Nashville bomb explosion, said Mayor Cooper.
“We will find out who did this,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Matt Foster said at a Friday afternoon news conference. “This is our city, too. We’re putting everything we have into finding who was responsible for what happened here today.”