One dead in Toronto coffee shop explosion
A man who walked into a Toronto coffee shop with a can of petrol was killed in an explosion in the store's toilet.india Updated: Apr 03, 2006 09:37 IST
A man who walked into a Toronto coffee shop on Sunday with a can of petrol was killed in an explosion in the store's toilet, police said.
"The guy walked in the restaurant and had a gasoline can with him. It exploded when he was in the bathroom," said a police spokesman Staff Sergeant Don Cole.
"We don't know at 100 per cent if it was arson or suicide."
Police had earlier described the explosion as "very suspicious", but Cole said police were now certain "it was not a guy with a bomb strapped to him, an Al-Qaeda thing."
"The gas can caused an explosion and a fire. The ceiling came down, it was pretty messy," said Cole. The victim was not a member of the store's staff.
Police sealed off the coffee shop and exploded a suspicious package that was found nearby. But the package only contained rubbish, Cole said.
CTV television quoted witnesses as saying that customers smelled petrol and ran out screaming a few seconds before the explosion. One witness, George Ribera, said there was a lot of "panic".
The police said that another Tim Horton's shop was evacuated a few hours after the explosion after a suspect package was found.
With more than 2,800 stores, Tim Hortons is Canada's biggest chain of coffee and doughnut shops.
Wendy's, the US fast food company, last month sold $780 million worth of shares in the chain, bringing its shareholding down to between 82 per cent and 85 per cent.