By Barry Ellsworth
TRENTON, Canada (AA) – A van travelling at a high rate of speed left the road Monday and mounted a sidewalk in Toronto, killing nine and injuring 16.
The driver is in custody, and Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said it is too soon to speculate whether it was a terrorist attack.
The incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. EST (1730 GMT) in a busy section in the north end of the city.
While police are being tight-lipped about information on the incident, witnesses said they saw tarps over four people lying on the sidewalk.
The trauma unit at the nearby Sunnybrook Hospital issued a statement saying it had received seven victims after “an incident involving a van striking a number of pedestrians”.
A hospital spokesperson later said one patient had died and several were in critical condition.
An eyewitness said there were “a lot of people lying lifeless on the ground”.
Bystanders tried to revive them, but to no avail.
Subway service has been suspended in the area.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was apprised of the situation and commented on the incident from Ottawa.
“Our hearts go out to anyone affected,” he said. “We’re obviously going to have more to learn and more to say in the coming hours.”