23-year-old man charged for allegedly lighting ‘incendiary devices’ at Langara College
A man has been charged in relation to the arson incident that forced the evacuation and closure of Langara College on Monday.
Vancouver police say 23-year-old Nasradin Abdusamad Ali has been charged with one count of arson related to inhabited property and one count of possession of incendiary material.
Court records show Ali also faced charges of theft under $5,000 and uttering threats relating to an incident in Vancouver on Jan. 31, 2018, but those charges were stayed in August.
Ali is due in Vancouver provincial court at 2 p.m. Tuesday.
Langara College confirmed Tuesday that Ali was a current student who had been attending the institution for two years.
Police and firefighters were called to the college around noon Monday to reports of a fire in the technology building.
WATCH: Langara college campus evacuated
Investigators allege Ali entered the building with multiple improvised incendiary devices, at least two of which were detonated and caused fires before he fled the area.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police arrested him in Surrey around 4 p.m. Monday.
The incident prompted a massive response, with heavily armed members of the Vancouver police Emergency Response Team helping to evacuate students and search the campus for suspicious items.
“It was flammable materials, at least one of them did have some sort of device attached to it as an ignition,” said Const. Jason Doucette.
“Two of those went off prior to the police arriving. We located at least one more device and our bomb disposal unit neutralized that at the scene.
“We saw smoke on the second floor and the sprinkler system going, and then we were all not quite sure what to do,” said physics instructor Richard Wong.
“People kept telling us to move away from the building, and then in about half an hour they told us all to go home.”
Officials with the school won’t say whether Ali had any ongoing disputes with other students or staff, but sources tell Global News he may have sent taunting messages to the school following the fire.
Langara’s 49th Avenue campus remained closed on Tuesday, however its campus at 601 Broadway reopened. The school said it would reopen on Wednesday, but that the technology building would remain closed for the remainder of the week.
Exams scheduled for the T-Building are being rescheduled.
Students who left belongings behind during the evacuation are being allowed to return to retrieve them, and are asked to check in with security.
More information can be found on the Lanagara College website.
Ali is due back in court on Friday.
-With files from Tanya Beja
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