Nashville authorities believe an explosion that occurred in downtown Nashville early Christmas morning was an “intentional act” and sparked by a vehicle.
Police responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle parked outside the AT&T building just before 6 a.m. Upon arrival, police said an officer “had reason” to alert the department’s hazardous devices unit, which was en route, when a “significant explosion” happened.
Three people were hospitalized with injuries, police said
Police and firefighters responded to an area near Second Avenue and Commerce Street about 6:45 a.m. Friday.
The fire department confirmed a bomb squad was on the scene with an active investigation by Metro police and federal agenices.
Police said the incident was linked to a vehicle parked outside the Melting Pot and investigators said an RV was involved.
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
There were initial reports of structural damage but no immediate information on whether any people were injured.
Images and videos taken in the area showed flames and smoke — which could also be seen from miles away. Alarms inside several buildings were heard going off with water pouring into some buildings with structural damage and broken windows.
Trees lining Second Avenue were blackened from the incident.
The owner of the nearby Nashville Downtown Hostel told The Tennessean guests were evacuated to Nissan Stadium for shelter. He said he got a call early Friday from his staff reporting hearing a “loud boom” and the fire alarm going off.
These are pictures from 2nd Avenue south. Windows were broken out from explosion area to Broadway. Please AVOID this area! Media staging is at 2nd Avenue south and KVB. pic.twitter.com/tocdpHWFgj
— Nashville Fire Dept (@NashvilleFD) December 25, 2020
He said the hostel is damaged but did not go into details.
This is a developing story.