VIDEO/AUDIO AND RECORDED MESSAGE COMING FROM RV PRIOR TO EXPLOSION IN NASHVILLE ON CHRISTMAS
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“If you can hear this message, evacuate now.”
A recording believed to be coming from an RV which exploded in Nashville on Christmas morning prompted police officers to help get residents to safety before the explosion wreaked havoc on downtown.
Metro Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron and Chief John Drake stated during a press conference officers had responded to the area for a shots fired call when they heard a recording coming from the vehicle and took the warning seriously, prompting them to help residents evacuate the area.
Aaron says several officers sprung into action and there have been reports of hearing loss from some officers and one was knocked off his feet during the blast which is being investigated as intentional.
The video posted is believed to be an audio recording captured by a surveillance camera, though it has not confirmed the source of the video. In the video, the recording can be heard stating "This area must be evacuated now...if you can hear this message, evacuate now." The camera then goes to white as the explosion can be heard setting off multiple alarms. Video then shows the aftermath of the destruction left in the explosion's wake.
Aaron says the RV explosion took place at 166 2nd Avenue by the AT&T building but it is unclear if the positioning of the vehicle was intentional or not. Aaron did say he believes the quick response by officers on the scene likely saved lives.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is leading the investigation along with the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). The FBI has promised to bring all possible resources to the scene to bring those responsible to justice. The FBI Special Agent in Charge, Matt Foster, described the scene as "massive" and called on anyone with information to report tips to http://fbi.gov/nashville or 1-800-CALL-FBI.
There is not believed to be an active threat in the area, though police are conducting sweeps with K-9 units as a precaution.
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