Pandemonium broke loose this afternoon in Toronto after a white rental van drove onto a sidewalk, killing nine and injuring 16 pedestrians in its path of destruction.
CNN reports that the horrific crash happened at the corner of Poyntz and Yonge Streets just north of downtown Toronto this afternoon around 1:30 p.m. In total, the crime scene stretches about a mile long.
District Chief for Toronto Fire Stephen Powell told the press that multiple people have died from their injuries while many were taken to area hospitals to be treated. At least seven pedestrians who were injured were taken to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centres, but the severity of their injuries have yet to be released. CBC also says that the hospital has been locked down for the time being as a precaution.
Since the incident occurred, the Toronto Police Department has been tweeting updates to the public. One tweet told citizens to avoid the area surrounding the incident while another tweet urged the public to avoid calling 911 to find out information on the incident, stating that they will instead tweet information as it becomes available.
The police department also recently sent out a tweet, telling the public that a hotline for those who witnessed the crash will be set up later today. Additionally, they will set up a separate hotline for the families of victims.
After hitting multiple pedestrians, CBS reports that the white Ryder van fled the scene. The suspected driver was later apprehended by police and taken into custody for questioning.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 23, 2018
Upon hearing the tragic news, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent out a tweet, saying that his thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been affected by the “terrible” incident earlier today. He also thanked the first responders and assured the public that they would be monitoring the situation closely.
Back in November, a similar incident occurred in New York City when a man driving a rental truck drove onto a bike path, leaving eight people dead, per ABC News. Sayfullo Saipov of Tampa Bay, Florida, was later identified as the suspect.
A suspect in the Toronto incident has yet to be named but once again, the public has been urged to follow the Toronto Police Department on Twitter for the most up to date news.