Indian Restaurant Bombing: At least 15 people were injured Thursday night when two suspects walked into a Toronto restaurant and detonated a bomb, police said.
“Every police resource is being used right now” to locate the two men who entered an Indian restaurant in Mississauga Thursday night and detonated an explosive device, says Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans.
Three people suffered critical blast injuries in the explosion and were taken to trauma centers; another 12 sustained smaller shrapnel injuries.
The majority of the victims have been treated and released; the three most seriously injured have been upgraded to stable condition.
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 told reporters Friday morning.
“I’m aware that there were children in the restaurant at the time. Fortunately, they were not injured,” she said.
The chief added that while their investigation is in its early stages, “there is no indication this is an act of terrorism, no indication this is a hate crime,” though she said nothing has been ruled out.
The three serious injuries included a 35-year-old Brampton man, a 48-year-old Mississauga woman, and a 62-year-old Mississauga woman. The other 12 victims ranged in age from 23 to 69.
CP24’s Cam Woolley says the restaurant is in a busy area of the city.
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“It’s a very popular family restaurant,” he told CTV’s Your Morning, adding the restaurant has been in business for “probably 20 years.”
While there’s not a lot of obvious damage on the outside of the restaurant, Woolley said there is extensive damage inside. Police are currently obtaining a search warrant to conduct a full investigation inside the restaurant.
Woolley said police have also found possible physical evidence in the residential area nearby and have cordoned off an area where they have been found what appear to be footprints and gloves on the road.
Meanwhile, nearby police agencies in Toronto, York and Halton, as well as the OPP have been asked to be on the lookout for the men.
Police are also asking nearby residents to check their surveillance cameras in hopes that police can identify any getaway vehicle the two men might have used.
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-colored skate shoes.
The Indian consulate in Toronto has tweeted that it has opened a helpline for those seeking assistance following the explosion.