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Two dead, 9 injured after van plows into pedestrians in small Canadian town in Quebec

This photo shows various emergency services at the scene of an incident in Canada's Quebec province where a van ran into pedestrians, killing two people and injuring nine others. (via Reuters)

Two people have been killed and nine others injured after a van ran into pedestrians in the Canadian town of Amqui in Quebec province.

Provincial police spokeswoman Hélène St-Pierre said on Monday that the circumstances surrounding the collision were still being investigated and the driver of the van, a 38-year-old man, was under arrest. Investigators are looking into whether he ran people over on purpose.

"Everything indicates that this is an isolated event," she said, adding, "There is no more danger in the area and only one suspect."

Local media said police were called around 3 p.m. local time over reports of a collision between a van and pedestrians walking along a road in Amqui, about 650 kilometers (400 miles) northeast of Montreal.

According to St-Pierre, a man in his 70s and another man in his 60s were killed, while two of the victims were in a serious condition.

Witnesses told local media a truck hit several people on a sidewalk outside a microbrewery, then continued for another 400 to 500 meters along the road, swerving and striking more people.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Twitter that his heart was with the people of Amqui.

The country’s Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino also tweeted that he was "shocked and saddened" by the events and called the incident a "horrific act of violence."

The incident occurred a month after a bus driver was charged with murder after ramming his vehicle into a daycare center in a Montreal suburb, killing two children and leaving six more injured in what police believe was a deliberate act.

In 2018, a Canadian man rammed a rental van into a crowd of pedestrians in downtown Toronto, killing 11 and injuring 16 in the deadliest such attack in Canada's history.

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