A major road bridge connecting Canada and the United States was shut down on Monday to search for possible explosives in a vehicle.
Peace Bridge and Canadian border is seen from Buffalo, New York, US April 22, 2021.(photo credit: REUTESR/LINDSAY DEDARIO)
Canadian police reopened a major road bridge connecting Canada and the United States to traffic after shutting it down for hours earlier on Monday to search for possible explosives in a vehicle, resulting in long delays for truckers trying to cross the border.
The Canadian border police alerted police in the Canadian border city of Windsor, Ontario, about possible explosives, which led to the closure of the Ambassador Bridge in both directions earlier Monday. Windsor Police reopened the bridge for US-bound traffic that afternoon, keeping it closed to Canada-bound traffic.
The Windsor-Detroit border is the busiest international crossing in North America.
The Canada Border Services Agency told Windsor Police about “possible explosives” in a vehicle in a secondary inspection area, according to a tweet sent by Windsor Police shortly after noon ET on Monday.
To clarify: No direct threats were made specific to places or persons. The threat of the possible explosives located is still being actively investigated at this time. https://t.co/StuAKPFbl6
— Windsor Police (@WindsorPolice) October 4, 2021
Police said they believe this is an isolated incident, adding in a later tweet, “No direct threats were made specific to places or persons.”
The Canada Border Services Agency would not say what prompted it to alert police.
Windsor Police Constable Talya Natyshak said no confirmed explosives had been located yet and she could not say whether anyone was in custody or when the bridge might reopen fully.
“We’re investigating possible explosives. It is still under investigation what exactly the items located are,” she said.
On the US side of the bridge early Monday afternoon, several dozen trucks were backed up the length of city blocks, idling. Exits to the bridge from a nearby expressway were blocked.
Trucker Mustanfar Ahmed said he had been waiting for more than three hours, trying to head home to Windsor after delivering peppers to Ohio. He said he’d asked many times but no one could tell him when he might be able to cross.
“We can’t go anywhere now. No food, no washrooms, nothing,” he said. He added a word of advice: “Don’t come to the border right now.”