US & Canada

Toronto van attack: Eyewitness accounts

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Police have appealed for witnesses to the attack to come forward

A rented van has been driven into pedestrians on a busy street in the Canadian city of Toronto, leaving 10 people dead and 15 injured.

Here, eyewitnesses describe seeing the vehicle mount the pavement in busy Yonge Street and travel at speed for nearly 2km (1.24 mile), mowing down pedestrians. The suspected driver was arrested and is being questioned.

'I saw people dying right in front of me'

"I heard screaming, yelling. I turned back and saw this truck," Rocco Cignielli, 42, told AFP news agency.

"He was going in and out, back and forth, zigzagging. He just kept on going.

"I saw there were people lying on the ground. I saw they were doing heart compression, and I saw two people dying right here in front of me."

'The truck continued going and going'

Taxi driver Nana Agyeman Badu said the van had been heading south towards the city centre and then suddenly swerved on to the pavement.

"I thought maybe he was making a delivery. But I was thinking, 'Why would he drive in the pedestrian walkway like that?' Very fast. Then I saw he had already run over some people.

"A lady was walking towards the car close to a bus shelter. The truck pinged the lady through the bus shelter and she fell back and all the broken glass fell on to her. I stopped and ran out to help her. The truck continued going and going and going."

'My friend was gone'

Michele Kelman, who works on Yonge Street, said she was returning to her office with a friend after lunch when they heard screams.

She told the Globe and Mail that she turned and saw bodies flying through the air. The front of the white van was heading straight towards her.

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Media caption"Anybody in his way, he would hit": Witnesses recall Toronto van incident

She said she tried to shield herself and the van shot past without touching her. But when she turned back her friend had gone.

"I couldn't find her body for a while. There were a few around. And there were people trying to bring her back," she recalled.

Ms Kelman declined to name her friend because her family had not yet been notified of her death.

'There are so many people lying on the streets'

Alex Shaker told CTV television that the driver was travelling "really fast".

"All I could see was just people one by one getting knocked out, knocked out, one by one," he said.

"There are so many people lying down on the streets."

'It was awful... brutal'

Phil Zullo said he saw victims "strewn all over the road".

He told told Canadian Press: "I must have seen about five, six people being resuscitated by bystanders and by ambulance drivers. It was awful... brutal."

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