A bus driver has been charged with murder after he plowed a large bus into a day care center outside Montreal, killing two children on Wednesday morning, the police said.
The police said that six other children were injured when the driver crashed into the day care center in Laval, just outside Montreal.
The police said that they did not know what caused the driver to crash into the center and that an investigation was underway.
The driver, who is 51, was charged with careless driving and homicide, the police said. His name was not immediately made public but the police said he was an employee of the local transit agency.
Hamdi Ben Chaabane, who said he lives near the day care, told The Montreal Gazette that he and several other people tried to subdue the bus driver after the crash. He said the driver was screaming, opened the bus door and started removing his clothes.
“We had to hit him to subdue him, and we got him on the ground, and then the police put the handcuffs on him,” Mr. Ben Chaabane told The Gazeette.
The police said that a crisis center had been set up for parents and others to reunite with the children, as horror spread throughout the community.
Stéphane Boyer, the mayor of Laval, said on Twitter that he was at the scene, meeting with families.
“I am shocked by this news,” he wrote. “The investigation into this tragic series of events is ongoing. My support goes out to parents in these difficult times. Laval is wholeheartedly with you and will be there for you.”
François Legault, the Quebec premier, said in French at a news conference that he was thinking of the children and parents affected and the employees of the day care center.
“We will offer the parents all the help we are capable of giving them,” Mr. Legault said. “But obviously, as a father, I’m shaken and I find this hard, and I can understand the anguish that they’re living through at the moment.”
The transit agency, the Société de Transport de Laval, said in a statement that it could not comment on the crash, citing the continuing investigation.
“Our energies are currently focused on cooperating with the investigation and taking care of our employees,” the agency said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada wrote on Twitter that his “heart is with the people of Laval today.”
“No words can take away the pain and fear that parents, children, and workers are feeling — but we are here for you,” he wrote. “I’m keeping everyone affected by this unfathomable, tragic event in my thoughts.”
William Lamb and Vjosa Isai contributed reporting.