Police reopen Canada-US bridge after searching for explosives

The Ambassador Bridge as seen from Detroit, Michigan, on Oct 4, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

TORONTO (REUTERS) - Canadian police reopened a major road bridge between Canada and the United States after largely shutting it down for hours on Monday (Oct 4) to search for possible explosives in a vehicle, resulting in long delays for truckers at the busiest international crossing in North America.

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) alerted police in the Canadian border city of Windsor, Ontario, about possible explosives in a vehicle, prompting the closure of the Ambassador Bridge in both directions earlier on Monday.

A spokesperson for the CBSA told Reuters in an email late on Monday afternoon that the bridge had reopened. They would not comment further on the case.

Windsor Police could not immediately say whether the search for possible explosives was ongoing, whether any had been found and whether the vehicle's driver, who had been detained, was still in custody.

Windsor Police said in a tweet they had mistakenly said earlier that the bridge had been closed to both Canada-bound and US-bound traffic. US-bound traffic had in fact been re-routed, they said.

Police said they believe this was an isolated incident, adding in a later tweet, "No direct threats were made specific to places or persons." The Canada Border Services Agency would not say what prompted it to alert police in the first place.

Windsor Police Constable Talya Natyshak said earlier on Monday afternoon that no confirmed explosives had been located yet.

"We're investigating possible explosives. It is still under investigation what exactly the items located are," she said.

On the US side of the bridge early on Monday afternoon, several dozen trucks were backed up the length of city blocks, idling. Exits to the bridge from a nearby expressway were blocked.

Trucker Mustanfar Ahmed said he had been waiting for more than three hours, trying to head home to Windsor after delivering peppers to Ohio. He said he'd asked many times but no one could tell him when he might be able to cross.

"We can't go anywhere now. No food, no washrooms, nothing,"he said. He added a word of advice: "Don't come to the border right now."

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