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Indian consulate opens helpline after Mississauga restaurant bombing

Mississauga restaurant explosion: Consul General of India responds to IED blast
WATCH ABOVE: Consul General of India responds to Mississauga restaurant explosion

The Indian Consulate in Toronto has set up a hotline for members of the Indian-Canadian community, following a devastating blast at the Bombay Bhel restaurant in nearby Mississauga that injured 15 people.

READ MORE: 2 suspects wanted after IED detonated inside Mississauga restaurant, 15 injured: police

The explosion occurred at around 10:30 p.m. ET on Thursday when two masked suspects walked into a Bombay Bhel restaurant in Mississauga and allegedly triggered an improvised explosive device.

The consulate established its helpline a short time later, to ensure that anyone affected by the blast would have a point of contact throughout the night.

“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.

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WATCH: Manhunt underway for two suspects responsible for detonating bomb in Mississauga restaurant

Manhunt underway for two suspects responsible for detonating bomb in Mississauga restaurant
Manhunt underway for two suspects responsible for detonating bomb in Mississauga restaurant

READ MORE: Mississauga restaurant blast: What we know about the explosion so far

He said many calls to the helpline have come from concerned citizens in India.

“People are calling to find out if their relatives are involved because in the middle of the night they couldn’t reach any of the numbers,” he said.

WATCH BELOW: 2 parties taking place at Mississauga restaurant at time of IED blast

2 parties taking place at Mississauga restaurant at time of IED blast
2 parties taking place at Mississauga restaurant at time of IED blast

All 15 people injured in the blast are from the Indo-Canadian community, Bhatia said. Twelve of them were treated in hospital for minor injuries and released Friday morning. Three others remain in stable condition at a trauma centre.

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Victims of the blast range in age from 23 to 69, according to Peel Regional Police.

Bhatia says he visited the trauma centre and spoke with the family of two of the victims.

“They were seemingly very shattered,” he said. “These things are unheard of in Canada.”

Two families were celebrating birthdays at the restaurant when the attack occurred, Bhatia said.

Sushma Swaraj, India’s minister of external affairs, also addressed the incident on Twitter.

“I am in constant touch with our Consul General in Toronto and Indian High Commissioner in Canada,” she tweeted. “Our missions will work round the clock.”

The owners of Bombay Bhel called the bombing “extremely horrific and sad,” in a post on Facebook Friday morning.

“We want to thank you for all of your support and well wishes, especially to the families that were affected,” the owners wrote.

Dozens of loyal customers responded to the post by offering their sympathies and best wishes.

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The restaurant hit by the bomb was Bombay Bhel’s flagship location. The small chain has three other locations in the area west of Toronto, including a second location in Mississauga.

Anyone with information is asked to call 12 Division Criminal Investigations Bureau at 905-453-2121 ext. 1233.

WATCH BELOW: Witness recounts aftermath of Mississauga restaurant explosion

Broken glass, blood, screams: witness recounts aftermath of Mississauga restaurant explosion
Broken glass, blood, screams: witness recounts aftermath of Mississauga restaurant explosion