Police are searching for two men in connection with a bomb blast inside an Indian restaurant in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, Ontario, that wounded 15 people late Thursday evening.
Three people who suffered critical injuries in the blast caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) were rushed to a Toronto trauma centre, police said.
These victims – a 35-year-old Brampton man, a 62-year-old Mississauga woman and a 48-year-old Mississauga woman – were listed in stable condition Friday, said Peel Regional Police chief Jennifer Evans.
Other victims, who range in age from 23 to 69 years, have been treated and released. Evans said the victims were taken to three hospitals.
‘No indication this is a terrorist act’
“There is no indication this is a terrorist act, no indication this is a hate crime at this time we haven’t ruled anything out as we start our investigation,” Evans told reporters at a press conference near the scene Friday morning.
“I want to assure everyone that every police resource is being used to locate the people responsible for this horrendous act.”
Peel Regional Police say they received a call about an explosion at a Bombay Bhel restaurant in the central part of the city just after 10:30 p.m. Two separate birthday parties were underway at the time, Evans said.
“I’m aware that there were children in the restaurant at the time. Fortunately, they were not injured,” Evans said.
‘Everything was destroyed’
Rafael Concaceicao, a student from Sao Paulo, Brazil, told CBC News he was on the patio of a restaurant close to Bombay Bhel when he heard the explosion, and rushed to help.
“Glass was broken in the street. There was a child’s birthday party. Everything was destroyed. Lots of blood in the floor. Many people were screaming. They were trying to run out from the restaurant. There was a guy with glass inside his eyes. Many people were bleeding so much.”
Police have released a photo of the two men entering the restaurant. One suspect is described as being in his mid-20s, with light skin and a stocky build, wearing dark blue jeans and a baseball cap with light grey peak.
The second has fair skin with a thin build and was wearing faded jeans, a grey T-shirt with dark-coloured skate shoes.
“I will say that this is a heinous crime that’s been committed and we ask that anyone with any information please come forward and tell the police,” Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie told reporters. “Certainly people who have done this need to answer for their crimes and they need to be brought to justice.”
Evans said Peel police have notified police departments in neighbouring Toronto, York, Durham and Halton Regions as well as the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) as they search for two suspects.
Canada’s Public Safety Minister Ralf Goodale said federal authorities, including the RCMP, are there to offer assistance “in any way possible.”
With files from CBC News