Police are searching for two suspects after a bomb detonated inside an Indian restaurant in Mississauga, injuring 15 people.
Peel police were called to the area of Hurontario Street and Eglinton Avenue just after 10:30 p.m. Thursday after reports of an explosion at the Bombay Bhel Restaurant.
They said two suspects entered the restaurant and detonated an Improvised Explosive Device before fleeing the scene on foot and jumping into a vehicle.
At a news conference on Friday morning, Peel police Chief Jennifer Evans, said there is no indication that the explosion was an act of terrorism or a hate crime.
Peel Paramedics said at least three people — a 35-year-old man from Brampton, a 62-year-old Mississauga woman, and a 48-year-old Mississauga woman — were taken to a trauma centre in critical condition suffering from blast injuries. They were later stabilized and released from hospital.
Evans said another 12 people, ranging in age from 23 to 69, were treated in hospital for minor injuries and released. Children under 10 years old were inside as well but they were not hurt.
Evans said there were two separate birthday parties taking place at the restaurant at the time of the explosion.
“I want to assure everyone that every police resource is being used to location the people responsible for this horrendous act,” Evans said. She also asked that anyone who has surveillance or dash-cam video taken around that time to contact police.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, who visited the site of the explosion Friday, said she was shocked at the brazenness of the incident.
“It is a heinous, reprehensible act, committed by cowards who would come into a restaurant where people are vulnerable, celebrating with their families, where children are present,” a visibly emotional Crombie said. “You will be found and you will be brought to justice. This does not happen in my Mississauga.”
In a statement on Facebook, Bombay Bhel said “it was an extremely horrific and sad incident that happened at our Hwy. 10 location yesterday evening. We want to thank you for all of your support and well wishes, especially to the families that were affected.”
On social media, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called it “shocking and horrific” and a “cowardly attack.”
Liberal Leader Kathleen Wynne tweeted, “We are all shocked and saddened by the news out of Mississauga. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and our thanks go out to the first responders. We are monitoring the situation and I will be briefed first thing this morning.”
And Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford tweeted that his “thoughts are with all those injured in the blast” and encouraged anyone with information about the explosion to call police.
A tweet of support came from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
He wrote, “we’re in solidarity with the victims of this violence, and wish a swift recovery to the injured.”
Trudeau added, “We’re working closely with police and officials in Mississauga on this.”
The first suspect is described as male in his mid-20s with light skin, five feet 10 inches to six feet tall with a stocky build. He was wearing dark blue jeans, a dark zip-up hoodie pulled over his head, a baseball cap with a light grey peak and his face was covered with black cloth.
The second suspect is described as a male with fair skin, five feet nine inches to five feet 10 inches tall with a thin build. He was wearing faded blue jeans, a dark zip-up hoodie pulled over his head, a grey T-shirt, dark-coloured skate shoes and his face was covered as well.
The Consulate-General of India in Toronto has set up a helpline at 647-668-4108 for anyone needing assistance.
With files from The Canadian Press