A massive blast that sounded like a “bomb” rocked downtown Nashville early Christmas morning when a vehicle exploded, rocking buildings and sending heavy smoke into the sky, according to reports.
The explosion happened about 6:30 a.m. in the vicinity of Second Avenue and Broadway and could be felt for miles as heavy black smoke billowed skyward at the site, WKRN reported.
Buildings shook in the area after the explosion, but no injuries were immediately reported as police, fire and medical personnel rushed to the scene.
The Metro Nashville Office of Emergency Management told the station that a parked recreational vehicle exploded. Officials said the incident did not seem suspicious.
In a tweet, police said the explosion was “linked to a vehicle.” It occurred outside 166 Second Ave. N.
The Fire Department said a bomb squad was on the scene with an active investigation by Metro police and federal agencies, according to The Tennessean.
Buck McCoy, who lives nearby, posted videos on Facebook that show water pouring down the ceiling of his home. People are heard shouting in distress as alarms blare in the background.
McCoy said the windows of his home were completely blown out.
“All my windows, every single one of them got blown into the next room. If I had been standing there it would have been horrible,” he said. It felt like a bomb. It was that big.”
He added: “There were about four cars on fire. I don’t know if it was so hot they just caught on fire, and the trees were all blown apart.”
The owner of the Nashville Downtown Hostel told the paper that guests were evacuated to Nissan Stadium after he got a call from his staff reporting hearing a “loud boom” and the fire alarm going off.
He said the hostel was damaged in the blast but did not go provide details.
Images and videos showed flames and smoke as alarms went off inside several buildings.
A video posted by Ryan Graney shows the scene, where buildings are badly damaged and flames are burning.