After the alleged bomb explosion in Nashville, Tennessee, the state governor applied to US President Donald Trump for a local declaration of emergency. This is intended to mobilize additional federal funds for the reconstruction.
According to the AP news agency, a suspect has also been identified. Details were initially not known.
On Friday morning a mobile home exploded in the city, the detonation severely damaged buildings in the area. At least three people were injured. Police also found human tissue that could indicate someone was in the RV.
“It’s a miracle no local residents were killed,” wrote Governor Bill Lee on Twitter. The FBI has taken over the investigation.
The background to the explosion is still unclear. Statements from witnesses and information from the authorities suggest that it was a bomb attack, which, however, did not aim to kill many people. According to the Reuters news agency, there is currently no known threat to Nashville. The police are investigating more than 500 leads.
Warnings from the speaker
The process has now been reconstructed as follows: On the morning of Christmas Day, the sounds of gunfire rang through downtown Nashville. Then a kind of countdown: “This vehicle will explode in 15 minutes,” said a voice from the tape, described a couple who live nearby to the Washington Post.
First the two called the police. When the countdown got to eleven minutes, they grabbed their cat, got in the car, and fled. When nothing happened for a while, they turned back, thinking it was a joke.
At some point, the Washington Post reports, citing an unverified video, a new announcement should have run: “This area must now be evacuated. If you hear this, evacuate. “
In the meantime, the six alerted officers on site had alerted the police bombing unit, officers had gone door to door urging residents to get to safety. That’s what Police Chief John Drake says.
The countdown ended, the motor home exploded. The couple with their cat were just in the car on their way back to the apartment. The two heard the detonation and saw smoke rising.
Pictures from the location of the explosion showed damaged houses, burned out cars and debris on the street. After the detonation several fires could be seen on photos; a rising black column of smoke was visible from afar. Photos also showed broken windows in buildings farther away.
“I don’t mean to speculate, but you’d guess that this person didn’t want to hurt but destroy,” said Police Chief Drake.
The time of the explosion also suggested that the act was probably not about meeting as many people as possible: on Christmas Day at around 6.30 a.m., the streets were as good as cleared – but on a working day later, many stop there People up.
Internet and telephone connections failed
Mayor John Cooper spoke of “catastrophic damage.” At least 41 stores were damaged, he said. “The attack this morning was aimed at this [weihnachtlichen] Time for peace and hope to spread chaos and fear, ”Cooper said.
The police largely cordoned off the city center on Friday and used bomb detection dogs to search for explosives. Cooper imposed a curfew on the affected downtown area. The mayor, police and governor spoke of a bomb.
The explosion damaged a building belonging to the communications company AT&T, which caused telephone and data connections to fail in some areas in the region. The airport of the city, which is the capital of Tennessee with almost 700,000 inhabitants, had to temporarily cease operations.