Officials: Downtown Nashville rocked by 'intentional' Christmas morning explosion; three injured
NASHVILLE, Tennessee - Shortly after 6 a.m., Christmas Day, downtown Nashville was rocked by an explosion that officials are still responding to as of 10 a.m.
Officials stated that the Dec. 25 blast that injured at least three people and damaged at least 41 buildings was an intentional act, CNN reports.
In a brief news conference Friday morning, Metro Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron said the department's hazardous devices unit was headed downtown in response to a call about a suspicious vehicle when there was a "significant" explosion linked to that vehicle.
"We do believe that the explosion was an intentional act," Aaron said.
MNPD, FBI – Federal Bureau of Investigation and ATF investigating the 6:30 a.m. explosion on 2nd Ave North linked to a...Posted by Metropolitan Nashville Police Department on Friday, December 25, 2020
At 6:32 Christmas morning, @MNPDNashville and @NashvilleFD responded to the scene of an explosion on 2nd Ave, approximately one block north of Broadway. Metro Police confirm the source of the explosion came from a vehicle.— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) December 25, 2020
Three people have been rushed to hospitals from the scene one of them a 4-year-old , but all are in stable condition, according to Nashville officials.
An explosion linked to a vehicle occurred at 6:30 this morning outside 166 2nd Ave N downtown. Investigation active by MNPD & federal partners.— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 25, 2020
In a evening news conference Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said that tissue was found on scene and is believed to be from human remains.
The incident remains under investigation by multiple agencies, both local and federal, including the FBI and the ATF, Aaron said. Police and Tennessee Highway Patrol put the city on a curfew so officials can properly investigate the incident. Access from the interstate through the immediate area will be restricted, he said.
An eyewitness told CNN that when he looked outside, trees had fallen and broken glass was everywhere.
The man said he saw people rushing out of their apartments with their animals and firefighters told him to get as far away from the area as possible, he said.
"There's just nothing left on 2nd Avenue," the man explained.
Local news outlets say the explosion occurred in the area of Second Avenue and Broadway near Commerce Street around 6:30 a.m., Dec. 25.
Red Cross is on the scene assisting anyone who has been displaced.
Only one building collapsed during the explosion, according to Nashville Fire Department Chief Swann
Moments before the explosion six metro police officers who were already at the scene in regards to a reported shooting heard a suspicious van giving a message saying that it was going to detonate. That is when those officers started to evacuate residents and people from the area.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper said that "it will be sometime before 2nd Avenue will be back to normal."