Tennessee governor asks Trump for emergency aid after Christmas Day explosion

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) has requested federal assistance as the state grapples with the fallout of the Christmas Day explosion in Nashville.

A recreational vehicle exploded early Friday morning in downtown Nashville in what has been labeled an “intentional act.” At least three people were taken to the hospital, and preliminary reports indicated that 41 businesses were damaged by the explosion.

In a letter to President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' MORE posted to Twitter, Lee referred to the incident as an “attack” that is “believed to be a vehicle-born improvised explosive device.” He noted that the blast, which happened near a transmission building, impacted AT&T’s communication systems across the state as well as some areas across Kentucky and northern Alabama.

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The explosion grounded inbound and outbound flights from Nashville International Airport and complicated the state’s network operations, the governor wrote.

Lee said the Volunteer State spent $175 million between February 2019 and December 2020 responding to larger incidents and now needs federal assistance.

“Given these factors, the severity and magnitude of the current situation is such that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the State and affected local governments,” he wrote.

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Nashville police officers responded to an emergency call of gunshots in the downtown area around 5:30 a.m. and found an RV with a recording warning that a bomb was going to explode. The vehicle exploded at around 6:30 a.m.

Trump and President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenMadame Tussauds unveils new Biden and Harris figures US raises concerns about Russian troop movements to Belarus Putin tests a model for invading Ukraine, outwitting Biden's diplomats MORE were both briefed on the bombing. The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also investigating.

Mayor John Cooper (D) declared a civil emergency in the area and issued a curfew that began at 4:30 p.m. on Friday and will be lifted on Dec. 27 at 4:30 p.m.