2 suspects wanted after IED detonated inside Mississauga restaurant, 15 injured: police
Peel Regional Police say they are looking for two suspects who they say set off an improvised explosive device inside a Mississauga restaurant, leaving 15 people injured.
Police and paramedics said they were called to the Bombay Bhel restaurant, which is located in a plaza north of Hurontario Street and Eglinton Avenue, at around 10:30 p.m. on Thursday with reports of an explosion.
Investigators said approximately 40 patrons and guests were inside the restaurant at the time.
Three patients, who Peel Paramedics said were in critical condition, were taken to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.
Police said those patients had their conditions upgraded to “stable” Friday morning.
Multiple patients were taken to local hospitals with minor, “trauma” injuries. Some of the injuries were superficial, paramedics said.
As of Friday afternoon, police said all of patients have been released from hospital.
Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans said during a news conference Friday morning the incident is not believed to be an act of terrorism.
“There’s no indication that this is a terrorist act, no indication that this was a hate crime,” she said.
“At this time we haven’t ruled anything out as we start our investigation.”
Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale addressed the incident on Friday. He praised police and the “seamless” cooperation among Peel police, the service leading the investigation, Toronto police, OPP and RCMP. Goodale said although it’s still early in the investigation, there is nothing to suggest it’s a national security issue as of Friday afternoon.
“There is no indication of a connection to either national security or to hate crime — I repeat it’s early in the investigation,” he said.
“It’s far too early to draw any conclusions about what was the motivation here.”
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie also spoke Friday morning and told reporters she’s thankful there were no fatalities.
“This is certainly not anything you would expect to happen in Mississauga, not my Mississauga, this is not the Mississauga I know,” she said.
“I will say this was a heinous crime that’s been committed.”
A man, who didn’t want to be identified, told Global News he was inside the restaurant when he heard “a big blast.”
“A big one … I was in the bathroom with my kid, so I came out and everybody’s here and there,” he said, adding he saw broken glass and blood.
Rafael Concaceicao said he was at a nearby restaurant when he heard the explosion.
“When we reached the place, there was lots of blood on the floor. Many people were hurt at the time — women, [children] and families,” he said, adding he saw many balloons and cakes inside the restaurant.
WATCH: Witness recounts aftermath of Mississauga restaurant explosion
Concaceicao said he rushed over and tried to help people out with before emergency crews arrived on scene.
“There was a guy with glass inside his eyes. Many people were bleeding,” he said.
Police released a photo of two suspects wanted in connection with the explosion.
“Two suspects attended the scene, detonated an improvised explosive device within the restaurant,” officers said on Twitter.
“Two parties fled the scene immediately after the incident.”
Investigators described the first male suspect as being five-foot-10 to six feet tall, mid-20s and having a stocky build. He was last seen wearing dark blue jeans, a dark zip-up hoodie pulled over his head, a light grey baseball hat and black cloth covering his face.
The second suspect is described by police as being five-foot-nine and five-foot-10 and having a thin build. He was last seen wearing faded blue jeans, a dark zip-up hoodie pulled over his head, a grey t-shirt, dark-coloured skate shoes. Police said his face was covered.
Bombay Bhel restaurant posted a statement on their Facebook page Friday morning condemning the attack.
The Consulate General of India in Toronto announced on Friday that it opened a phone line for anyone who has questions about the explosion. Anyone concerned can call 647-668-4108.
“The first action was to open a helpline for Indian citizens and also the Indian-Canadian community, because it’s a vast Indo-Canadian community in Toronto,” Dinesh Bhatia, India’s consul general in Toronto, told Global News.
He said many calls to the helpline have come from concerned citizens in India.
Meanwhile, anyone with information is asked to call 12 Division Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-453-2121 ext. 1233.
— With files from Alana Macleod, Josh K. Elliott and Caryn Lieberman
© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.