Fatal car blast in downtown Kitchener possibly caused by IED, police say

One person is dead after a car explosion in front of the courthouse in downtown Kitchener Friday morning.

The Waterloo Regional Police Service said Friday afternoon the explosion “appears to be the result of a suspected improvised explosive device.”

Police are asking people to avoid the area of Frederick Street and Duke Street in downtown Kitchener as they investigate. There is a large police presence and the area will be closed “for a significant amount of time,” the Waterloo Regional Police Service reported on Twitter Friday.

Homes and businesses in the area along Frederick Street, Scott Street, Duke Street and Weber Street have been evacuated, police said.

“As a precaution, the WRPS explosive disposal unit is being deployed to assist with the investigation,” police said in a tweet at noon. Paramedics were on scene, as was the Peel Regional Police explosives disposal unit.

Police were also conducting searches at two addresses: Hearthwood Drive and Grand Flats Trail in Kitchener.

“The residences being searched are connected to the individual inside the vehicle. We are not looking for any other suspects at this time,” police said late Friday afternoon.

“The Peel Regional Police Explosives Disposal Unit is assisting to ensure the safety of these residences, ” WRPS said, and asked people to avoid these areas as well.

Images from the scene showed a silver car covered with a tarp. Police said a person was found dead inside the vehicle.

The car was parked in front of the Waterloo Region Courthouse on Duke Street.

At a news conference held by police at noon, they said they did not believe the explosion was linked to an assault on a taxi driver and an armed suspect that was announced by police at roughly the same time. 

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