Bomb rips through country music capital
The vehicle that blew up in Nashville on Friday morning was playing a recording that warned it was going to explode, the city's police chief said.
The recording said "a potential bomb would detonate within 15 minutes," Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake said during an afternoon news conference.
Officers who had responded to reports of shots fired in the area "decided to evacuate the buildings nearby" and were knocking on doors when the RV exploded, Dt. Drake said.
Distressing video shows the aftermath of Friday's massive, Christmas morning explosion in Nashville - with victims wailing and screaming for help as fires rage in a rubble-strewn street downtown.
Country musician Buck McCoy posted a clip on Facebook of blown-out storefronts on a block lined with street lamps wrapped in holiday garlands.
Small groups of people can be seen huddling together as sirens wail and black smoke billows from several blazes.
Nashville right now.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) December 25, 2020
On Christmas morning.
Domestic terrorism... pic.twitter.com/V76HXFDaBO
In another clip posted on YouTube, bricks litter an intersection down the street from the blast scene, which is just blocks from Nashville's historic Ryman Auditorium, former home of the Grand Ole Opry.
Large flames are visible down the block as firefighters watch helplessly from the corner.
"I'm on the corner of Church and Third Avenue," Michael Gregory says while shooting the cellphone video.
Smoke billows over downtown Nashville after explosion
"Nobody knows what's up … a building's down, though."
The narration ends with Gregory saying bitterly, "Merry Christmas, 2020!"
Authorities have said the blast that rocked Music City around 6:30am was an "intentional act" involving an RV that was parked on Second Avenue North near Commerce Street.
Three people were hospitalised, but none of their injuries are believed to be life-threatening.
The area has been sealed off and the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and local cops are conducting an investigation that's expected to last several days.
- With the New York Post
Originally published as Bomb rips through country music capital