Mississauga restaurant explosion: Police looking for motive, suspects still at large

May 27, 2018, 00:05
Mississauga restaurant explosion: Police looking for motive, suspects still at large

2 suspects attended the scene, detonated an Improvised Explosive Device within the restaurant.

The blast went off in a popular Indian restaurant Bombay Bhel in Mississauga, a Toronto suburb, at about 10.30pm local time on Thursday.

Three people were critically injured, but by Friday morning, their condition was upgraded to stable, Evans said.

Bertram said police sealed off a couple areas east of the restaurant where footprints, a glove and other evidence were located.

So far there is "no indication this is a terrorist act, no indication this is a hate crime", said police chief Evans, who added: "We haven´t ruled anything out as we start our investigation".

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They described the bomb as being an improvised explosive device and said the two men fled the scene immediately after it went off. The regional police has released a photograph on Twitter showing two people in dark zip-up hoodies walking into the restaurant.

The first suspect is described as a man in his mid-20s, between 5'10 and 6-feet with a stocky build and light skin.

"Nothing was said by these individuals", said Peel Region Sergeant Matt Bertram.

They said members of the community were co-operating with authorities, and noted that Peel regional officers were working with the RCMP and forces from around the Greater Toronto Area as the search for the men continues. When asked whether they had lingered in the restaurant before setting off the device, Evans said, "Not that I'm aware of". He suggested that a birthday party, possibly involving children, was taking place inside Bombay Bhel at the time of the blast.

Mississauga, a large city on the shore of Lake Ontario, borders the larger city of Toronto and is home to Toronto Pearson International Airport.

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While three of those injured - a 35-year-old Brampton man, a 48-year-old Mississauga woman, and a 62-year-old Mississauga woman - were originally listed in critical condition, Evans said their condition has since been upgraded to stable. A Peel Regional Paramedic Services spokesperson told Global News that the restaurant building appeared to be intact but that there was a lot of broken glass. The suspect in that attack, Alek Minassian, intentionally struck the victims in what was likely to count as Canada's deadliest vehicular assault, the police said. They were seen fleeing the restaurant on foot.

Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie described the incident as a "heinous crime".

Police said their focus was now on tracking down those believed to be responsible for the act. The Consulate General of India has opened a helpline in the aftermath of the blast, a move which suggests numerous victims may be Indian citizens.

"This is certainly not anything you would expect to happen in Mississauga, not my Mississauga".

"(Crombie) has my personal cell number and she will be in touch with me if there's anything more that we can do", Wynne said.

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"It was really loud", he said, comparing the noise to an electric generator that had exploded at a nearby construction site recently.