Metro Nashville authorities have imposed a curfew on parts of downtown Nashville after a massive Christmas Day explosion damaged at least 41 businesses on Second Avenue and collapsed one building.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper, Nashville Fire Chief William Swann, and Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake updated the public at a Friday evening press conference.
Cooper said he had spoken with Tennessee Gov. Lee. The governor, Cooper said, was working to declare a civil emergency. That declaration would allow members of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to commit to rebuild Second Avenue, Cooper said.
“There are at least 41 separate businesses materially damaged by this blast,” Cooper said.
“There will be others as we see the full extent of this.”
Cooper also announced that Nashville officials established a curfew from 4:30 p.m. Friday until 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The curfew extends from Fourth Avenue to the Cumberland River and from the James Robertson Parkway down to Broadway.
“Our partners at the FBI have a large crime scene to investigate,” Cooper said.
Cooper also praised six uniformed Metro Nashville Police officers who he said saved several lives early Friday morning after they determined that a parked RV in that area was about to detonate.
Drake, meanwhile, said “those officers’ acts of heroism was tremendous.”
“They got a call for shots fired,” Drake said.
“Once they arrived they heard an RV giving out a message saying it would detonate with a certain time frame. They began knocking on doors. These officers didn’t care about themselves. The officers saved lives. Their heroism should be noted.”
Drake said authorities found possible human tissue at the site. He said authorities would have to examine the tissue to determine whether it was human and whether the bomb blast had, in fact, killed someone.
The explosion, Swann said, collapsed one residential building, but he did not say which one. He also said that the structural integrity of surrounding buildings “are in question.”
As The Tennessee Star reported Friday, the massive Christmas morning explosion in downtown Nashville caused extensive damage and knocked out phone and internet communications throughout Middle Tennessee. The blast injured at least three people.
Members of the Metro Nashville Police Department, the FBI, and the ATF were investigating the intentional Christmas Day bombing of an RV at 166 Second Avenue North. The bomb went off around 6:30 a.m.
In the hours after the explosion, a video was posted on Twitter from an apparent recording of the bombing from a nearby security camera. Audio of a loudspeaker warning people to leave the area and “evacuate now” was heard echoing in the street moments before the blast. The recording is disrupted, but the camera eventually resets showing the aftermath of the explosion.
Nashville authorities ask anyone with information about this case to contact Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.
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