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A car exploded outside the Kitchener courthouse in Ontario yesterday morning, killing a man found inside in what “appears to be the result of a suspected improvised explosive device,” police officials reported.
Waterloo Regional Police confirmed that the male victim was connected to two Kitchener residences where investigators were conducting searches with the the Peel Regional Police Explosives Disposal Unit, CTV News reported.
WRP posted an update on Twitter following the 10-hour incident, announcing the conclusion of their investigations at Hearthwood Drive and Grand Flats Trail and noting the reopening of the streets surrounding the Waterloo Regional Courthouse.
"There is no further concern to public safety," the account tweeted.
The name of the man who was found dead in the car has not yet been released.
“I can’t speak to who created it, but it appears that the male who is deceased is responsible for this explosion," said Investigative Services Division superintendent Eugene Fenton.
First responders were dispatched to Frederick and Duke Streets around 10:30 a.m. after residents reported a loud bang.
Mike Sylvester was working at a nearby construction site when the explosion occurred, telling CTV News that some of his colleagues were curious to get a closer look.
"A couple of my coworkers ran over there and took a look inside, and there was a body inside," he told reporters. "It was engulfed in flames so they couldn't do anything."
Rob Kowalczyk, who worked near the scene of the explosion, smelled smoke and plastic burning.
"Some of the guys on-site tried to help the person out but weren't able to make it in time. They opened the door and it just fed the fire more," he informed CTV News. "Unfortunately they weren't able to save that person."
There was a heavy police presence evacuating the immediate area within hours.
Former commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, Chris Lewis, provided CTV News public safety analysis.
Lewis explained that the explosive disposal unit typically sends in a robot with a camera to evaluate the situation before officials commit to action.
He added that the unit also examines why an explosion occurred and inspects for evidence, including device components, fingerprints, and DNA.
"When I joined policing in the 70s, terrorists were something in some other world," Lewis stated. "But in that whole counterterrorism world, there's been more and more training around explosive devices."