Montreal, Feb 9 – Two children are killed and several others injured after a bus crashed into a daycare centre in Laval, north of the Canadian city of Montreal.
The city bus rammed into the Sainte-Rose Daycare at around 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency quoted local media as saying.
First responders said one child was pronounced dead at the scene, and seven others were rushed to hospitals.
Four children between the ages of three and five were hospitalised with “various types of trauma” following the crash, said Marc Girard, a spokesperson for Ste-Justine’s Children’s Hospital in Montreal.
The children, two boys and two girls, were conscious when they arrived at the hospital. One of them is in intensive care, while the others are being evaluated, he added.
The driver, 51, was reportedly arrested at the scene by Laval police and faces nine charges, including two counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault and four counts of assault with a weapon causing bodily harm.
He appeared by video conference from a Montreal-area hospital Wednesday afternoon.
The reports said the driver will remain detained until his next appearance on February 17.
Hamdi Ben Chaabane, who lives in the neighbourhood and witnessed the crash, told local media that the bus was travelling 30 or 40 km per hour when it struck the centre.
“I can’t imagine what the families of the kids who were killed and indeed the ones who were seriously injured are going through right now,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening.
“I know there are no words for parents who have lost their children this way. All Canadians are grieving with them, and we’ll do whatever we can to support them in horrific pain through the coming days and months and years of grief,” he added.
The local media reports said the daycare centre usually accommodates between 80 and 85 children.