15 hurt as bomb blast rocks Canadian restaurant
Police say there is no evidence of a terror link after two suspects targeted an Indian restaurant in the Toronto suburbs.
An explosion caused by an “improvised explosive device” has ripped through an Indian restaurant in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, wounding 15 people, Canadian police said.
Police said two suspects with their faces covered entered the Bombay Bhel restaurant late on Thursday, dropped the device and fled.
“There is no indication that this is a terrorism act. There is no indication that this is a hate crime at this time. We haven’t ruled anything out as we start our investigation,” said Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans.
“Every police resource is being used right now to locate the people responsible for this horrendous act.”
Ms Evans said three people suffered critical injuries and were taken to hospital while the remaining 12 suffered minor and superficial injuries.
Police later updated the condition of the three critically injured patients to stable. The ages of the injured range from 23 to 69.
The explosion happened just after 10.30pm on Thursday, and the plaza where the restaurant is located was still sealed off on Friday.
Television footage showed an injured woman limping away from the restaurant.
“Nothing was said by these individuals,” said Sergeant Matt Bertram. “It appears they just went in, dropped off this device and took off right away.”
Sgt Bertram said an object resembling a pail or paint tin was carried into the restaurant by one of the suspects in his hand.
Rafael Conceicao, a student from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was nearby when the explosion occurred. He said there was a child’s birthday party inside the restaurant at the time.
“Glass was broken in the street. Everything was destroyed. Lots of blood in the floor. Many people were screaming. They were trying to run out from the restaurant,” he said.
2 suspects attended the scene, detonated an Improvised Explosive Device within the restaurant. Several injured were taken to local hospital and 3 in critical condition were taken to a Toronto Trauma Centre. pic.twitter.com/yzCT59UVN6— Peel Regional Police (@PeelPolice) May 25, 2018
Ms Evans said there were two separate parties going and children under the age of 10 were there but were not injured.
Andre Larrivee, who lives in a nearby apartment, said he was watching television when he heard a “really loud” explosion.
Police asked for the public’s help and released a photo of the suspects, both with dark hoodies pulled over their heads and faces covered. Police believe they fled in a car.
Peel regional police described the first suspect as in his mid-20s with a stocky build, wearing dark blue jeans and a baseball cap with a light grey peak. The second suspect was described as a little shorter with a thin build, wearing faded blue jeans, a grey T-shirt and dark skate shoes.
The Indian consulate in Toronto tweeted it had opened a helpline for those seeking assistance following the explosion.
Vikas Swarup, India’s High Commissioner to Canada, tweeted that India’s Consul General in Toronto visited the injured in the hospital. He also said that the three Indian-Canadians who were reported to be critically injured are stable.
Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie said she was thankful there were no fatalities.
“This is certainly not anything you would expect to happen in Mississauga, not my Mississauga. This is not the Mississauga I know,” Ms Crombie said. “This is a heinous crime that has been committed.”