Skip to main content

Police seek two suspects after bomb explosion at Mississauga restaurant injures 15 people

  • A bomb exploded around 10:30 p.m.. on Thursday night at a Bombay Bhel restaurant in Mississauga
  • Fifteen people were injured in the blast, three critically. Police say those critically injured have now been upgraded to stable
  • Peel Regional Police ask for public’s assistance in identifying two suspects

CCTV footage shows the two suspects entering A Bombay Bhel restaurant in Mississauga on Thursday.

SOCIAL MEDIA/Reuters

Police are looking for two suspects − and their motive − after a makeshift bomb was thrown into a busy Indian restaurant Thursday night.

Normally, Bombay Bhel, a well-known chain-restaurant outlet in a Mississauga strip-mall plaza, would be closed by 10 p.m. But two birthday parties were wrapping up their celebratory dinners that night, so owner Manmohan Singh Nagpal sent his staff home and hung around as the groups finished.

There were 40 people inside when the bombers showed up around 10:30 p.m.

Story continues below advertisement

A total of 15 people were taken to hospital, three of them with more-serious injuries.

Mississauga explosion: What we know so far about the IED blast at an Indian restaurant

On Friday afternoon, after the plaza had reopened and all of the victims had been treated and released from hospital, Peel Regional Police said they had yet to determine the intent for the attack.

“I want to assure everyone that every police resource is being used right now to locate the people responsible for this horrendous act,” Peel Regional Police Chief Jennifer Evans said earlier Friday.

“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’re starting our investigation,” she said.

Wearing his pyjamas on the front porch of his home on Friday afternoon, the restaurant’s owner, Mr. Nagpal, said he did not get home from the police station until 6 a.m. His car was still in the parking lot.

He is okay, he said, but can’t stop thinking about his customers − and is grateful for the first responders.

Story continues below advertisement

“They really took care of my guests,” he said.

A Peel Police forensic investigator photographs evidence outside a Bombay Bhel restaurant in Mississauga on Friday.

Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

His restaurant will remain closed as police shift their investigation from the outside parking lot to the inside dining room. Neighbouring businesses in the plaza at Hurontario Street and Eglinton Avenue East – none of which were impacted, police said – reopened Friday afternoon.

Chief Evans said her service is in contact with neighbouring police forces in the Toronto area, the Ontario Provincial Police and the RCMP. The service also noted that members of the community are co-operating.

Sergeant Marie Damian, an RCMP spokeswoman, would not comment when asked whether the regional Integrated National Security Enforcement Team was assisting Peel investigators.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne said Friday that provincial-security services have given her no indication that the incident in Mississauga was linked to terrorism and instead is being treated as a “serious criminal incident.”

“The order of the moment is to find the attackers,” she said, speaking from the Toronto waterfront near Ontario Place.

Story continues below advertisement

Expressing her condolences for the victims, Ms. Wynne said the event could cause fear for some, coming so soon after the van attack in northern Toronto.

“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,” she said.

Toronto Pearson

Int’l Airport

TORONTO

DETAIL

Lake Ontario

KENNEDY RD.

EGLINTON AVE. W.

HURONTARIO ST.

CAWTHRA RD.

Bombay Bhel

restaurant:

site of explosion

MCLAUGHLIN RD.

403

MISSISSAUGA

0

1

KM

JOHN SOPINSKI AND MURAT YÜKSELIR /

THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN;

OPENSTREETMAP CONTRIBUTORS; HIU

KENNEDY RD.

MISSISSAUGA

HURONTARIO ST.

EGLINTON AVE. W.

CAWTHRA RD.

Bombay Bhel

restaurant:

site of explosion

MCLAUGHLIN RD.

Toronto Pearson

Int’l Airport

403

TORONTO

0

1

KM

Lake Ontario

DETAIL

JOHN SOPINSKI AND MURAT YÜKSELIR / THE GLOBE AND MAIL,

SOURCE: TILEZEN; OPENSTREETMAP CONTRIBUTORS; HIU

KENNEDY RD.

MISSISSAUGA

HURONTARIO ST.

CAWTHRA RD.

EGLINTON AVE. W.

Bombay Bhel

restaurant:

site of explosion

MCLAUGHLIN RD.

Toronto Pearson

Int’l Airport

403

TORONTO

0

1

KM

DETAIL

Lake Ontario

JOHN SOPINSKI AND MURAT YÜKSELIR / THE GLOBE AND MAIL, SOURCE: TILEZEN;

OPENSTREETMAP CONTRIBUTORS; HIU

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie called it a “heinous crime.”

“This is not the Mississauga that I know,” she said. “… The people who have done this need to answer to their crimes and they need to be brought to justice.”

The attackers had their faces covered when they walked into the restaurant Thursday night, with the hoods of zippered sweatshirts pulled over their heads.

In an image shared by police – a still photo from surveillance video in the restaurant – one of the suspects is seen wearing a baseball cap and holding what looks like a paint can.

Inside, they threw what police described as an improvised explosive device, and then fled. Police say that they took off in a car, though no description of a vehicle has been released.

Across the parking lot, at the neighbouring Montana’s BBQ & Bar, Rafael Conceicao heard the blast and rushed over to help.

Speaking to television crews afterward, he described seeing broken glass, people screaming and rushing out amid the birthday balloons and cakes. “There was lots of blood on the floor. Many people were hurt at the time.”

Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie told media that the two suspects in an overnight bombing of a restaurant are cowards who need to be brought to justice.

One man had glass in his eyes, he said, adding that a woman with medical training gave others first-aid directions. Then, within minutes, police and firefighters arrived.

Fifteen people, ranging in age from 23 to 69, were sent to hospital. They were all released by Friday afternoon.

Sanjiv Jagota, who owns a business in the plaza, had been driving by with his wife, on their way out for a drink, when they saw the commotion and stopped.

“There were so many ambulances here last night, coming and going,” he said Friday morning, watching from outside the police tape as investigators snapped photos around the parking lot.

“My main concern is that they’re okay.”

The three most seriously injured victims – a 35-year-old Brampton man and two Mississauga women, one 62 years old the other 48 – were taken to the trauma centre of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

All three are Canadians of Indian ancestry, said India’s Consul General in Toronto, Dinesh Bhatia, who visited the three patients and their families at Sunnybrook.

Chief Evans made an appeal for witnesses, including motorists with dash cams and restaurant patrons who left before police showed up.

“We need the public’s assistance to help us identify these men. I urge anyone who may have information about this incident, or who was at or near the restaurant at the time of the incident, to please contact Peel Police 12 division,” she said.

Peel Police Chief Jennifer Evans says two men wearing hoodies and carrying an improvised explosive device walked into a restaurant and set off the bomb, wounding more than a dozen people. Reuters
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter