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9 dead, 16 injured as pedestrians struck 'one after one' in north Toronto van attack

Monday - 23/04/2018 19:46
Alek Minassian, 25, is the alleged driver in the attack, CBC News has confirmed
A tarp lays on top of a body on Yonge Street after a van ploughed into pedestrians in Toronto. Picture: AFPSource:AFP
A tarp lays on top of a body on Yonge Street after a van ploughed into pedestrians in Toronto. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

Nine people are dead and 16 others are injured after a van driver plowed into a number of pedestrians Monday in the Yonge Street and Finch Avenue area of North York in Toronto.

One suspect is in custody.

CBC News has confirmed that Alek Minassian, a 25-year-old Richmond Hill, Ont., man, is the alleged driver in the attack. His LinkedIn profile identifies him as a student at Seneca College.

Government officials briefed on the investigation so far say the suspect is not associated with any organized terrorist group and he does not represent a larger threat to national security.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation.

All available resources mobilized: police

Meanwhile, Toronto police Deputy Chief Peter Yuen told reporters police have mobilized all available resources and that officers expect to be at the scene for a number of days to come.
People react after a van struck multiple people in north Toronto. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
People react after a van struck multiple people in north Toronto. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

"This is going to be a long investigation," Yuen said. There were numerous witnesses and surveillance cameras in the area, he said.

Police were called to the Yonge and Finch area for a report of a crash around 1:30 p.m. after a van mounted the curb and hit pedestrians on the sidewalk before being stopped by police.

"There were a lot of pedestrians out enjoying, a lot of witnesses out enjoying the sunny afternoon," Yuen said. Police are establishing two hotlines — one for victims and their families, and the other for witnesses to call in information related
to the incident.

Terror-threat level remains unchanged

A witness said separately that he had seen at least four bodies lying covered on the ground and that the people hit included a man who was crossing the street and others on the sidewalk.
Police inspect a Ryder van suspected of being involved in the collisions injuring numerous people at Yonge and Finch. (Warren Toda/EFE/EPA)
Police inspect a Ryder van suspected of being involved in the collisions injuring numerous people at Yonge and Finch. (Warren Toda/EFE/EPA)

Amir Bahmeyeh, a student, was in the area at the time of the attack.

"I saw the crazy van, like a rental van, hitting the people … one after one," he said. "I'm sure it was like a terrorist attack because he drove really fast, like crazy.

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 Key: canada

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