Toronto (Canada), Apr 24: The Toronto Police on Monday responded to the reports of a van plowing into pedestrians in Toronto’s northern suburbs on Monday, police said. At least 10 people were dead and 16 injured in the attack. The white van jumped a curb and plowed into pedestrians. The driver fled briefly but was soon arrested, according to the police. While the attacker, identified as 25-year-old Alek Minassian has been arrested, it is yet not clear what prompted the attack.
The incident was reported at Yonge Street and Finch Avenue at around 1:45 PM (17:30 GMT) on Monday (April 23) during the lunch timings of the office staff. The witnesses reportedly said that the driver of the white van deliberately hit the pedestrians sitting on the benches or walking on the sidewalk. Some even described the scene as a “war zone”.
All the available sources were deployed to the incident spot soon after the attack. “It is anticipated that investigators will be on scene for several days, leading to road closures. Alternate routes instead of Yonge Street are Beecroft Road and Doris Avenue,” Toronto Deputy Chief Peter Yuen tweeted.
Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Ralph Goodale told a press conference that Toronto police are conducting a probe. “The investigation is at a stage where no further information can be confirmed at this point. The police are conducting obviously their thorough investigation to determine what happened and why it happened, the motivations involved.”
Seven injured were rushed to the Sunnybrook Health Services Centre’s trauma center following the attack.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to express his condolences. “Our thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto. Thank you to the first responders working at the scene – we’re monitoring the situation closely.”
TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Rogers Centre/Air Canada Centre area -Roads will be closed for sporting events -York St closed between Lake Shore Bl and Front St -No e/b traffic on Bremner Bl from Simcoe St -Pedestrian and car traffic expected to be heavy, the Toronto Police tweeted.