TORONTO (Kurdistan 24) – Ten people were killed, and 15 others injured when a van struck numerous people at a busy intersection in Toronto, Canada, a police spokesperson said on Monday.
Toronto Police Spokesperson Meaghan Gray said a white van hit multiple pedestrians on a sidewalk near the busy Yonge Street and Finch Avenue intersection. She said the driver fled the scene but was detained by officers in a neighboring area.
Gray said the cause of the incident is not yet known. Police had initially reported at least 10 casualties but now confirm there are 25.
Witnesses, meanwhile, said the van was traveling at high speed on the sidewalk.
Ambulances arrived to treat the injured with at least four of those hit pronounced dead at the scene.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement following the incident, noting that his government was “monitoring the situation closely.”
“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the terrible incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto. Thank you to the first responders working at the scene,” he said in a tweet.
The incident takes place as foreign affairs and security ministers from the G7 countries meet in Toronto until Tuesday to discuss several international issues ahead of a G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Quebec in June.
Ministers from Canada, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan met about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the attack, but there was no noticeable change in security measures where they were gathered, Reuters reported.
The suspect was later identified as Alek Minassian, a 25-year-old college student who lived in a suburb north of Toronto.
He appeared in court on Tuesday where he was charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder. He remains in custody and is scheduled to reappear in court via video on May 18, Judge Stephen Waisberg said.