Toronto Tim Hortons Explosion
One man is dead following an explosion at a Tim Hortons restaurant in downtown Toronto.
The blast occurred in the washroom of the coffee shop located near the intersection of Yonge and Bloor Streets, just after 1 p.m.
Emergency crews responded to the scene and tried to help the victim. Fire department spokesman Daryl Fuglerud said the man had burns to his body. They do not know if he was a customer or an employee.
The intersection of Yonge and Bloor is central to Toronto’s downtown core. No details or speculation yet as to the cause, but all joking about “natural gas” aside, a washroom wouldn’t seem to be the likely place for that type of explosion.
Update – over radio: The man killed was wearing the explosives, his body is still at the scene,. He is not an employee, but has not been identified … Another evacuation is underway at a different Tim Hortons, because of a suspicious package…
Update II – CTV is now reporting the man carried a can of gasoline into the washroom.
According to police, another man smelled gasoline fumes and ran out, yelling. A few moments later the blast occurred.
Investigators do not know what ignited the gasoline or what the deceased man’s motives were. Suspicion is focusing on either suicide or arson. They say he was definitely not a terrorist.
“He’s not a strap-on al-Qaida bomber guy,” Toronto Police Staff Sgt. Don Cole said Sunday evening. “It sounds to me like a guy who either wanted to do a torch job or commit suicide.”
Toronto’s police chief, Bill Blair, declined to discuss the possibility of a bomb.
He described the blast as “a very hot and intense fire in an enclosed area within the washroom.”
The police bomb squad worked at the scene for much of the afternoon.