Two children died and six others were injured after a bus rammed into a daycare center in the Montreal-area suburb of Laval on Wednesday morning, police said.
The bus driver, a 51-year-old employee of the Laval municipality’s public transit system, was arrested for homicide and reckless driving, a police spokesperson said.
Police declined to provide more details while they investigate and question the driver, who they said has worked for the transit system for 10 years and does not have a criminal record.
The incident happened at about 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), when kids are usually dropped off by their parents at daycare centers.
“Everyone is terribly saddened by what has occurred,” Quebec’s Families Minister Suzanne Roy said. “When you leave your children at the daycare for the day, you know that they’re in good hands … when an event like that can happen, it shakes us and shatters us.”
The circumstances around the crash or a possible motive was not immediately clear. The six children who were taken to hospital did not have life-threatening injuries, police said.
Authorities did not confirm the children’s ages, but according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, about 80 kids under the age of 5 attend that daycare facility.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as Quebec Premier Francois Legault, expressed condolences to families after the incident.
“No words can take away the pain and fear that parents, children, and workers are feeling – but we are here for you,” Trudeau said.
Laval is about 30 km (20 miles) northwest of Montreal in Quebec, Canada’s second most-populous province.