Van ploughs through Toronto pavement, kills nine

Emergency crews at the scene after several pedestrians were struck by a white van at Yonge and Finch. Courtesy Dave Diamond

Emergency crews at the scene after several pedestrians were struck by a white van at Yonge and Finch. Courtesy Dave Diamond

Witnesses described the suspect as being "Middle Eastern" in appearance, but authorities have not said if the attack is tied to Islamic terrorism.

Here, from Sky News, is the scene where the attack took place.

The White House is offering its condolences to Canadians following the deadly rampage of a van down a Toronto sidewalk that killed 10 people and put 15 in the hospital.

Toronto police respond to an incident where a van struck multiple people at a major intersection in Toronto's northern suburbs in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, April 23, 2018. He appeared to make some sort of gesture at the police with an object in his hand just before they ordered him to lie down on the ground and took him away.

Police said both the van and the driver are in custody, and are investigating to know the motive or cause of the incident.

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The crime scene encompassed a 2km (1.24 mile) stretch of Yonge Street in Canada's largest city.

A Toronto police spokeswoman told CBC News that the van was stopped by police.

The city's police chief, Mark Saunders, said the incident appeared to be deliberate and identified the driver of the van as Alek Minassian, 25. Islamic State militant group encourages its supporters to use vehicles for attacks. He was reportedly driving 60-70 miles per hour on Yonge street near Finch Avenue, a busy street in the north part of Toronto on April. 23.

Police say they were first called at around 1:30 p.m., and arrived on scene to find several bodies scattered throughout the area. It is unclear whether officials have characterized the incident, in which the driver plowed through pedestrians on the street with the van, as a terror attack.

"I must have seen about five, six people being resuscitated by bystanders and by ambulance drivers", Zullo said. "I was just working and then another worker told me a man might have been possibly been hit by a auto. The victims and their families have our deepest condolences".

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"We saw the last few people get hit that's when we were driving north on Yonge Street which is one of the busiest streets in Toronto".

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has briefly addressed the situation, saying "our thoughts are with all those affected by the bad incident at Yonge and Finch in Toronto".

At least seven people were rushed to nearby Sunnybrook Health Services Center's trauma center, the hospital said on Twitter, adding that the emergency department has been locked down as an added precaution.

But those who saw the van striking people reported seeing the elderly and a baby stroller flying in the air.

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