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Explosion in downtown Nashville believed to be

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Nashville, Tenn. — A large explosion in downtown Nashville Friday morning is under investigation by police and federal officials including the FBI and ATF. CBS affiliate WTVF reports the blast was felt across much of Davidson County around 6:30 a.m. 

“The explosion was significant, as you can see,” police spokesman Don Aaron said at a briefing Friday morning. “We do believe that the explosion was an intentional act.”

Three people were taken to the hospital for treatment, but officials said the injuries were not believed to be critical.

Aaron said a “hazardous devices unit” had been dispatched to investigate a suspicious vehicle early in the morning when it exploded. 

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“An explosion linked to that vehicle took place at 6:30,” he said.

The blast caused damage to nearby buildings and shattered windows in the area as a plume of black smoke rose near Second Avenue near Church Street. 

Smoke rises over building in downtown Nashville
Smoke rises from the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, on Dec. 25, 2020.

Quan McWil/WTVF


Police tweeted that the explosion was “linked to a vehicle … outside 166 2nd Ave N downtown. Investigation active by MNPD & federal partners.”

Metro Police and highway patrol officers were “conducting a shutdown” of the downtown area “while we assess this entire situation,” a police spokesman said. 

In the immediate aftermath, firefighters asked everyone in the area to move at least two blocks away due to concerns about any possible other explosions.

“Right now, it’s a public safety concern, to make sure everybody is accounted for and to make sure the spread of the fire doesn’t go any further,” Michael Knight, a spokesman for the ATF in Nashville, told The Associated Press.

Nashville explosion damage
Emergency personnel work at the scene of an explosion in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, on Dec. 25, 2020. Buildings shook in the immediate area and beyond after a loud boom was heard early Christmas morning.

Mark Humphrey / AP


This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. The Associated Press contributed reporting.

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