Two children died in a daycare crash in Montreal that police say was deliberately rammed by a bus driver was “unimaginable” said Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.
On Thursday evening Mr Trudeau attended a vigil for the victims in the north of Montreal. On Wednesday morning, two four-year-olds were killed in an attack, which left a dozen people and six children injured in the crash.
Since then two children have been released from a hospital in Montreal. The other victims were in stable condition and expected to recover soon.
PM Justin Trudeau addressed the incident and said “it’s unimaginable” outside the Elise Sainte-Rose-de-Lima church, speaking both in French and English.
He said “ Let us reflect on the incredible loss the families are feeling at this moment, Holding them a little tighter, how hundreds and thousands of parents dropped their kids off at the daycare centres across the country”, according to Canada’s Global News outlet.
“The best we can do is to be close, be there for each other, that’s what the people in this community and the people across the country are known for,” He added, reported by CTV.
Earlier in the day Quebec Premier Francois Legault visited the crime scene to offer his condolences.
Laying a wreath, Mr Legault spoke to parents and staff working at the Garderie Educative Ste-Rose daycare.
In Support of the victims’ families, the daycare centres have hung white flags across Quebec.
No clear reason for the attack
The police and parents are still figuring out why the suspect attacked the busy daycare.
“The crash was not a terrorist act and did not pose a threat to national security”, said a senior official in the Canadian government. The official did not speak on the condition of anonymity as it’s completely unauthorised to disclose details to the public.
“The real motive behind the crime is unclear till now,” said police spokesperson Erika Landry.
The daycare centre is located at the end of a driveway off a cul-de-sac. There is a bus stop near the cul-de-sac, but it would take the driver to wheel off the road and head down a long driveway to hit the building.
An eyewitness, Mario Sirois said, “the driver went directly into the daycare and no skid marks were noticed.”
An identified defendant named Pierre Ny St-Amand, 51 has been arrested by the police and charged with first-degree murder. On Wednesday afternoon, he appeared in court via video conference from a hospital, while he was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.
An eyewitness named Hamdi Ben Chaabane told reporters that he saw the suspect bailing out of the bus, he took off his clothes and shouted incoherently.
Ben Chaabane and three parents had to strike him in order to subdue him before the police cuffed him.
The children were screaming and crying
The people nearby were helping the children trapped underneath the bus’s wheels and inside the daycare. A woman in the neighbourhood ran to the centre in Laval, Quebec after she saw children crying and screaming and watched a mother collapse.
The suspect has worked as a bus driver for a local public transit system for about 10 years. No criminal record or incidents were noted on his file.
“A theory says that it could be an intentional act, but the investigation is underway and nothing could be assumed,” said Laval’s mayor Stephane Boyer. The suspect has neither sought out any psychiatric or mental healthcare, said a public healthcare worker.
Following the situation, Prime minister Justin Trudeau said he will observe a moment of silence in Ottawa along with other Members of parliament.