Firefighters Battle Blaze Caused by R.V. Explosion
Dear Commons Community,
An explosion shattered the Christmas morning in the heart of downtown tourist district of Nashville. While several people were injured, it was not known whether or not there were fatalities. As reported by the New York Times.
“Before dawn on Friday, Nashville police officers rushed to calls of gunfire on Second Avenue, a strip of honky tonks, restaurants and boot shops. Instead of gunfire, they found an R.V., blaring a strange and unsettling message: There was a bomb. It would detonate in 15 minutes.
When the R.V. did explode, it sent plumes of smoke billowing above the city, blew out windows in shops and offices for several blocks, left three people hospitalized — and Nashville shaken.
Police said the explosion was deliberate. It was also deeply unsettling, coming in an area that draws thousands of people nightly. But who set it off and why remained unknown as officials began to make sense of the blast.
“The whole neighborhood shook,” said Lily Hansen, who was sitting on her couch in her second-floor apartment in a loft building a few blocks away. She looked outside. “I just can’t get the image out of my head.”
The police released a photo (see below) of the R.V. on Friday afternoon and said the vehicle had arrived on Second Avenue North at 1:22 a.m. The R.V. was parked outside an AT&T transmission building, a separate building from the landmark 33 story AT&T office tower less than half a mile away.
It is still unclear if a person was inside the R.V. when it exploded, officials said. In a news conference on Friday evening, police officials said there were no indications of fatalities, but possible human tissue had been found amid the debris.
Gas lines were shut off in the area, and AT&T experienced outages, which forced the Federal Aviation Administration to temporarily halt flights out of the Nashville International Airport.
Mayor John Cooper said he saw extensive damage when he surveyed the area, including shattered windows and glass that had showered onto sidewalks, charred trees and water main breaks. At least 41 businesses have been materially damaged by the explosion, he said. Fire officials added that one building across from the explosion collapsed.
Still, he acknowledged a measure of relief: Had the explosion taken place on a workday, he said, the outcome could have been far more perilous. But, he added later in the day, that solace had shifted to resolve to find the perpetrators and rebuild.
“This morning’s attack on our community was intended to create chaos and fear in this season of peace and hope,” Mr. Cooper said.”
Still the motivation behind this explosion seems strange.
Photo of the R.V. that Caused the Explosion in Nashville