A huge explosion rocks downtown Nashville early Friday morning, following police responding to reports of gunfire discovered a parked mobilehome displaying a warning that it carries a bomb about to explode.
The powerful explosion shattered windows and ripped trees apart, wounding several people when it detonated at 6:30 am (12:30 GMT) in downtown Nashville, Tennessee that was largely deserted due to the Christmas holiday.
Police chief John Drake told reporters there were no confirmed fatalities, but authorities were examining human tissues found at the blast site.
The city, known as a hub for American country music did not received any threats or a possible motive for the attack.
In a dramatic sequence of events that shattered the Christmas morning calm, police rushed to the area after getting reports of gunshots and noticed the vehicle as they arrived on the scene.
Police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters that a recorded message playing from the motorhome warned that a bomb would detonate within 15 minutes — enough time for a bomb squad to clear the area before the explosion.
Witnesses told the Tennessean newspaper the warning, spoken in a woman’s voice, counting down the blast.
“Evacuate now. There is a bomb. A bomb is in this vehicle and will explode,” another witness recalled the chilling recording heard from the mobilehome.
The damage was “limited but it is dramatic,” says Nashville mayor John Cooper, saying that the city was “lucky” the blast had occurred on Christmas when few people were downtown.
“It’s unfortunate but any other morning I think it would have been a much worse story,” Cooper added.
Source: Bangkok Post