Explosion damages downtown businesses, injures at least three

The explosion occurred inside a RV outside the AT&T transmission building.

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration for Nashville in the emergency response to the Christmas day bombing in downtown Nashville.

The president's action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Tuesday the Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide direct assistance to Metro Nashville-Davidson County under the federal Public Assistance program.

“We are grateful for the support from President Trump and our federal delegation,” Lee said in a news release. “These federal resources will help the Nashville community recover from this tragic event.”

Nashville Mayor John Cooper said Lee and the White House notified his office that the disaster declaration relief request had been approved.

"This is the first step on a long recovery journey, and I want to thank Gov. Lee and congressional delegation for their support," John Cooper said in a post on social media.

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper and Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Lamar Alexander supported Lee’s request for the declaration he requested on Dec. 26.

Congressman Cooper said in a post on Twitter that the declaration will help local residents and businesses start to rebuild.

“Receiving a major disaster declaration is an important step in getting federal resources to Tennessee families and businesses adversely impacted by the bombing,” Blackburn said in a post on Twitter. “We appreciate @realdonaldtrump for his attention to this matter.”

The emergency declaration authorizes FEMA, under the Robert T. Stafford Act, to provide Metro Nashville-Davidson County government with direct assistance for emergency protective measures to lessen the impact to lives and property.

The protective measures eligible for assistance under FEMA’s PA program include, but are not limited to, costs to Metro Nashville-Davidson County for firefighting, search and rescue operations, emergency operations center activation, medical care and transport, evacuation and sheltering, safety inspections, and area security.

The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency continues to work with FEMA on recovery assistance, and with the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic assistance that may be available through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

A recreational vehicle exploded around 6:30 a.m. on Christmas Day on Second Avenue North near the AT&T Building. The explosion affected 41 residential and commercial structures over multiple city blocks and directly impacted AT&T’s communications system across Tennessee, Kentucky and northern Alabama.

For complete coverage of the Nashville bombing investigation, click here. 


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