The vehicle that blew up in Nashville in the early hours of Christmas morning, was reported to have sounded a warning alarm for people to evacuate before the blast. A recording from the vehicle has shown, as three people are said to have been injured in the blast described as an “intentional act.”
According to the report by NYDailyNews, quoting the Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said, Police were responding to a report of shots fired when they founded the vehicle playing a recording saying a bomb would go off in 15 minutes, Police evacuated nearby buildings and called in the bomb squad.
“Shortly after that, the RV exploded,” Drake said.
The blast occurred at 6:29 a.m. local time Friday.
Three people have been taken to the hospital for injuries that were not said to be critical, according to Nashville Fire Department spokesman Joseph Pleasant.
The surrounding area remains shut down as the blast is investigated.
“It looks like a bomb went off,” said Mayor John Cooper when he surveyed the damage.
Speaking to reporters, the mayor said that people who might seek out attention sometimes think they can get it in the city or these types of acts.
“It’s not just New York and Los Angeles, it can be Nashville too,” he said. “This feels a little bit like a tragedy, you hate to use that word. … It was clearly done when nobody was going to be around. … It would be a different message if it was 5 p.m. on a Friday.”
Cooper added that “mental health obviously becomes a concern and consideration” but stipulated, “We shouldn’t jump to conclusions.
“It’s been quite a year. Adding [an] explosion to the list … just seems so 2020.”
Police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters that authorities received calls of shots fired in the area before the explosion took place.
Though officers did not see evidence of shots fired, they did find the suspicious vehicle outside the AT&T building and called in the bomb squad.
The vehicle exploded while the bomb squad was responding, and it is not known whether anybody was inside at the time of the “significant explosion.”
Though there is currently no indication of a secondary device, explosive detection dogs are searching the area “out of an abundance of caution.”
“The immediate downtown area has been sealed off by law enforcement as we conduct this investigation,” which Aaron said is being conducted by the FBI, ATF, and the Metro Police Department.
Downtown buildings, particularly those on Second Avenue North, are being searched for people possibly still inside.
The blast “knocked one of our officers to the ground. Thankfully, no officers were significantly hurt,” said Aaron, who noted, one officer sustained what “we hope is temporary hearing loss.”
Some people have been taken to the local precinct for questioning.
At a news conference Friday afternoon, Aaron said authorities knew of “no imminent danger to the city at this point.”
He confirmed reports that warning announcements were coming from the RV before it exploded.