Ten people have been killed and 15 injured after a man drove a van into pedestrians in Toronto, police said. The suspect has been named by police as Alek Minassian, 25. A man was arrested several streets away following a tense standoff with officers on ...
Toronto police have confirmed ten people have died and 15 were injured after a van ploughed through a crowd in the Canadian city.
The driver was arrested after the incident and a huge investigation is now underway.
The suspect has been identified as a 25-year-old man named Alek Minassian, Toronto police have said.
It is unknown if the incident was terror related, and investigations are ongoing.
The Chief of Police said the incident did not appear to have a national security connection based on their current information.
Witnesses said the driver appeared to deliberately drive at speed on the pavement before "crumbling" pedestrians.
They said the driver swerved from side to side, on and off the pavement, in an apparent attempt to hit pedestrians.
Sunnybrook Hospital said it had received seven patients. They said its accident and emergency department had also been put on lockdown as an “added precaution”.
A hospital official said five patients were in a critical condition and two others were in a serious condition.
GETTYToronto news: A van has ploughed through a crowdA man who gave his name as Ali told CNN he saw the van and that the driver appeared to have been targeting people.
He said: "This person was intentionally doing this, he was killing everybody.
"He kept going, he kept going. People were getting hit, one after another."
He said a number of the victims were older people and at one point he saw a pram fly into the air.
Police have offered no details on the driver's possible motive.
Toronto news: Witnesses giving CPR to victims of today's crashThe vehicle involved in believed to be a white Ryder rental van.
Toronto police tweeted: "Numerous pedestrians have been struck by a white van on Yonge St and Finch area.
“Unknown of extent of injuries, possible 8 - 10 pedestrians struck.”
One Twitter user said: “White van seen plowing into people on Yonge Street, Toronto. Injuries everywhere.”
Another witness said the driver appeared to "deliberately" hit pedestrians.
He said: "What I saw was a white van spending at 60 or 70 miles an hour, swerving an appearing to deliberately hit pedestrians.
The witness said the van then swerved off onto a side street and out of view.
A van was discovered nearby with the driver appearing to have fled on foot. He was later taken into custody.
A spokesman for Ryder, the rental company whose van was involved in the incident, said: “Ryder is aware of an incident involving a Ryder rental van striking pedestrians in Toronto.
"We are saddened by this tragic event, and our deepest sympathies go out to those impacted.
"We take the safety and security related to the use of our entire fleet very seriously and we are fully cooperating with the authorities."
The incident took place at a busy business area at around 1.30pm local time (6.30pm BST).
Another witness told CTV: “He started going down on the sidewalk and crumbling down people one by one.
“He just destroyed so many people’s lives. Every single thing that got in his way.”
Witnesses rush to help victims struck by a white van in Toronto this eveningShocking photos show a number of pedestrians lying injured on the pavement.
One woman was shown with blood streaming down her face while others lie flat on their backs.
Another showed prone victims being given CPR by witnesses.
Several people appear to be seriously injured.
A white van has ploughed through a crowd of pedestrians in TorontoPolice, ambulance and fire crews are at the scene, including at least one helicopter.
Subways have been suspended in the area and officials are warning people to avoid the neighbourhood in order to aid emergency crews.
The pedestrians were struck in the northern part of the city, about 30 kms (18 miles) from downtown, where the Group of Seven foreign ministers were meeting on Monday.
There was no noticeable change in security around the Intercontinental Hotel where the foreign ministers were about to gather for a group photograph.
Toronto Police held a press conference earlier in which they asked for public support during the investigation.
They said the area would likely be shut down for several days as police carried out investigations.
And they urged any witnesses to get in contact with police.
READ MORE: Witnesses help victim as police arrive at scene of Toronto van incident
An aerial image of the area affected by today's van collision in TorontoPrime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “We are just learning about the situation in Toronto. Our hearts go out to everybody effected.
“We’re obviously going to have more to learn and more to say in the coming hours.”
And Ontario’s premier Kathleen Wynne praised emergency services.
She tweeted: “Hearing a number of people have been hurt at Yonge and Finch. My thoughts are with everyone affected. We’re following the situation closely — working with our federal and municipal partners.
“Thank you to the first responders caring for victims and witnesses.”
And Mayor John Tory said: "There has been a very tragic incident at Yonge St. and Finch Ave.
“My thoughts are with those affected by this incident and the frontline responders who are working to help those injured.
“I have spoken to Chief Mark Saunders and my office is being updated by Toronto Fire, EMS, TTC and the acting City manager.
“I am on my way to Mel Lastman Square right now for an update on the situation.
“I have offered any and all assistance that the City can provide to police to help this investigation."
Police have not ruled out terror as a motive.
The United States and Europe have seen a string of deadly attacks in which vehicles were used to mow down pedestrians, including an attack in New York in October that killed eight.
Vehicles have also been used by terrorists in recent years in Nice, Munich, Stockholm, Barcelona and London, twice.
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