Bomb explosion sends 4 to hospital in Winnipeg Saturday night

Glass and debris are scattered on Gallagher Street where a vehicle caught fire Saturday. Mike Arsenault/Global News

Winnipeg police have confirmed a bomb exploded inside a truck over the weekend.

“I am standing here because a bomb went off in a residential neighbourhood,” said Cst. Rob Carver, with the Winnipeg Police Service at a Tuesday morning media briefing. “We do not believe this was designed to harm random people in the city.”

But it’s also not clear what the device was intended for.

WATCH: Winnipeg police speak about explosion that injured four over the weekend

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Police said emergency crews were called to the intersection of Gallagher Street and Midmar Avenue at 11:15 p.m. Saturday because a truck hit a fire hydrant.

READ MORE: Major Crimes Unit investigating vehicle fire in Winnipeg’s West End

Four people were found inside the vehicle with burns. Two men aged 27 and 22 as well as a 20-year-old woman and a 17-year-old man were all taken to hospital. The 27-year-old man and 20-year-old woman were in critical condition.

During the investigation, police said they discovered a improvised explosive device inside the truck cab had detonated accidentally. The truck then hit the hydrant.

Carver said the four people in the truck found a bag with the bomb in it on the hood of a vehicle in a 7-11 parking lot nearby.

“We do not believe someone has randomly put an explosive device in the public with the intention of innocent victims could have been injured,” said Carver. “That is not the avenue investigators are pursuing at this point.”

Police have spoken with the person who left the bag in the parking lot.

“We believe all of the players in this case were accidentally involved,” said Carver. “We got a couple seriously injured. It’s luck they weren’t more seriously injured.”

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Police said investigators are still trying to find out where the bomb came from. At this point no arrests have been made.

“At the moment I cannot tell you the device was intended for anyone but it is obvious it was designed for maximum effect to do what it did in that vehicle,” said Carver. “We aren’t looking for additional devices.  The incident is hugely concerning. Do we feel there is a continued threat? We don’t.”

The Major Crimes Unit is asking anyone with information to call investigators at 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

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