Bombing at Indian restaurant Bombay Bhel in Mississauga `not terrorist act’

Bombay Bhel Mississauga
Two suspects behind explosion at Bombay Bhel Mississauga.

MISSISSAUGA: A bomb explosion at Indian restaurant Bombay Bhel on the northwest corner of Hurontario and Eglinton in Mississauga on Thursday night left 15 people injured.

Three who were critically injured were rushed to a Toronto trauma centre. They are a 35-year-old man from Brampton, a 62 year-old woman from Mississauga, and a 48-year-old woman from Mississauga and all three are now in stable condition.

Twelve victims, ranging in age from 23 to 69, were treated for minor injuries at local hospitals and released.

Two birthday parties were being celebrated and there were about 40 people inside the restaurant at the time of the explosion, according to owner Manmohan Singh Nagpal.

Peel Police chief Jennifer Evans said at a press conference on Friday morning that the explosion doesn’t seem to be a terrorist act or a hate crime.

“There is no indication that this is a terrorist act, no indication that this is a hate crime. At this time, we haven’t ruled anything out as we start our investigation,” she said, with Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie standing beside her.

Bombay Bhel Mississauga
Bombay Bhel in Mississauga remains cordoned off as police investigations continue.

The police chief said her force was hunting for two suspects who entered the restaurant, and left an improvised explosive device (IED). The suspects fled out of the restaurant just before the IED exploded at about 10.30 pm.

The first suspect is described as 5’10”-6 feet tall and in his mid-20s. He is of stocky build and light skin, wearing dark blue jeans, dark zip up hoodie pulled over head, baseball cap with light grey peak, face covered with black cloth material.
The second suspect is described as 5’9”-5’10”, fair skin, thin build, faded blue jeans, dark zip-up hoodie hood pulled over head, grey t-shirt, dark-coloured skate shoes, and face covered.
The suspect at the back in the picture is seen to be carrying a can or pail which could be the improvised explosive device.

With the restaurant explosion happening within weeks of the April 23 van attack in north Toronto which killed 10 people,  Premier Kathleen Wynne said, “These are shocking incidents and made all the more shocking because they have been unusual in our society. And so to have two of these things happen in a short period of time, I think it is worrisome.”

Calling it an `unspeakable and senseless crime,’ Mississauga mayor Bonnie Crombie said, “This is not the Mississauga I know. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families during this difficult time… the criminals behind this act need to be brought to justice quickly.”

The Indian consul general in Toronto visited the site and the consulate general opened a helpline in case assistance was needed.

Indian high commissioner Vikas Swarup tweeted that “our Consul General in Toronto has visited the hospital and confirmed that the three Indian-Canadians who were reported to be critically injured are stable now.”

The Canadian high commission in New Delhi was also following the situation closely.

Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted that Indian missions were open round the clock to help the victims.

Traffic in the area was closed.
The police chief said “every police resource” available has been pressed into service to nab the culprits.

“I want the community to know that every available police resource is being used to locate the people responsible for this horrendous act,” she said. Peel Police have over 2,000 officers on its rolls.

Mississauga, with a population of about 700,000, is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada. It is Canada’s sixth largest city.

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