Emergency services arrived at the scene near Second Avenue and Commerce Street at about 6:45 a.m. local time (12:45 GMT) and attempted to put out the fire, the publication said. The Nashville Fire Department later confirmed that a bomb squad was dispatched to the scene of explosion, while local police announced that they have opened an investigation into the incident and will be conducting it with help from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
These are pictures from 2nd Avenue south. Windows were broken out from explosion area to Broadway. Please AVOID this area! Media staging is at 2nd Avenue south and KVB. pic.twitter.com/tocdpHWFgj— Nashville Fire Dept (@NashvilleFD) December 25, 2020
White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere told reporters that President Donald Trump has been informed about the explosion in Nashville and that POTUS is being kept up-to-date on the incident.
Metro police said the explosion that rocked the city and damaged several buildings was linked to a parked vehicle and added that they believe it was "an intentional act". Law enforcement said they were responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle parked outside the offices of AT&T early in the morning when the explosion took place while the police were already en route to the site. The Tennessean newspaper reported, citing investigators, that an RV might have been involved in the blast.
MNPD, FBI & ATF investigating the 6:30 a.m. explosion on 2nd Ave N linked to a vehicle. This appears to have been an intentional act. Law enforcement is closing downtown streets as investigation continues. pic.twitter.com/YOfMTaKmTH— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 25, 2020
Local website Scoop Nashville reported that a building collapsed after the explosion, but authorities are yet to confirm the amount of damage caused in the city due to the blast. Police said three people have been hospitalised with injuries as a result of the explosion, although none of them are in critical condition.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper said he had examined the destruction in the area, noting that around 20 buildings were damaged in the blast. Following his address, the authorities announced the establishment of an emergency operations centre (EOC) "in response to an intentional bombing incident".
Social media users were publishing photos showing black smoke coming from the area.
The local fire department has asked residents to avoid the area in the vicinity of the blast.
A large explosion rocked Nashville this morning. Fire Department told to pull back due to concerns of possibly more. Photos emerging show a very crazy situation. #Nashville #NashvilleExplosion— Aurora Intel (@AuroraIntel) December 25, 2020
2nd Ave N in Nashville TN , stay away from downtown pic.twitter.com/DtMCw9qWSi— Grammy Nominated Boyfriend (@ABEastwood_) December 25, 2020