2 children dead after bus crashes into daycare centre in Canada

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Xinhua News

9th February 2023 – (Hong Kong)  Two preschool children are dead and several others injured after a city bus crashed into a daycare center Wednesday morning in Laval, north of Montreal, Canada.

The city bus rammed into the Sainte-Rose Daycare in Laval shortly around 8.30am local time (1330 GST), local media said.

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 hospitalized 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 videoconference from a Montreal-area hospital Wednesday afternoon. The reports said the driver will remain detained until his next appearance on Feb. 17.

Hamdi Ben Chaabane, who lives in the neighborhood and witnessed the crash, told local media that the bus was traveling 30 or 40 km per hour when it struck the daycare.

“It’s very tough when these things happen. We have specialists, physicians, a medical team fully mobilized to deal with this,” said Patrick Tardiff, the head of the emergency room at a local hospital.

“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 afternoon.

“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,” said Trudeau.

The reports said the daycare center usually accommodates between 80 and 85 children.