While the Nashville bombing that rocked music city early Christmas morning has been clearly labeled as intentional by local authorities, details are still flowing in about the explosion that injured at least three and forced the evacuation of hundreds from the heart of Music City. Here is what we know so far:
Around 5:30am residents in the area of 2nd Ave N and Broadway reported hearing gunshots fired and called local police. Upon arrival police found no suspects or injured victims.
Around 6:15am police who were investigating the shots fired call observed a dilapidated RV parked on 2nd Ave N. blaring a recorded warning that a bomb would detonate in 15 minutes, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said. Police evacuated nearby buildings and called in the bomb squad.
At 6:30am The RV exploded while law enforcement was still calling in reinforcements and bomb technicians. One officer was injured. Human remains were also found in the vicinity of the explosion although it is unclear whether these were from the perpetrator or of a victim or victims.
The blast caused widespread communications outages that took down police emergency systems and grounded holiday travel at the city’s airport. The blast was located just outside an AT&T facility, as well as near the Ryman Auditorium, Ole Red’s, and Wildhorse Saloon.
The FBI and ATF will be taking over the investigation and we will post additional updates once they become available. More details can be found at AP.com
A statement from Ryman Hospitality’s chairman and CEO Colin Reed:
“I want to express our deep concern for the individuals and business owners who have been impacted by the early morning explosion in downtown Nashville. We are thankful that, as of now, no major injuries have been reported. An initial assessment of our downtown properties revealed no damage at the Ryman Auditorium and Ole Red Nashville and minor damage to the Wildhorse Saloon. We do not anticipate any long-term business interruptions due to this incident. The Wildhorse Saloon is currently closed as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. We are in contact with our operator and local authorities and will conduct a full inspection of the Wildhorse Saloon as soon as we are cleared to do so. Our Gaylord Opryland and Grand Ole Opry complexes are outside of the downtown area and were not impacted by the explosion.
I want to thank our local, state, and federal authorities for their diligence as they work to conduct a thorough investigation while also ensuring safety in the downtown area in the days ahead. Nashville is a strong and resilient community, and we will get through this together.”