PTC Web Desk: Multiple theatres across different regions of Greater Toronto, Canada, witnessed evacuations after people were exposed to an unknown gas during the screenings of Hindi movies earlier this week, as per reports from police and media outlets.
The incidents, where masked individuals sprayed an unidentified aerosol-based gas, caused moviegoers to experience coughing fits. Thankfully, no major injuries were reported during these incidents.
One such incident was reported on Tuesday evening at a Vaughan area movie theatre, as per York Regional Police. Around 200 persons were inside the theatre during the Hindi film screening when two masked men released the gas, prompting evacuation and necessitating medical treatment for exposure.
Descriptions of the suspects provided by the police include one as a black man with a light skin tone, and the other described as brown with a light skin tone.
The authorities from York, Peel, and Toronto police forces are coordinating efforts due to similar incidents occurring within a three-hour timeframe on the same evening. While investigations are ongoing, no arrests have been made.
The Peel police confirmed responding to a Brampton theatre following reports of a substance being sprayed, resulting in the evacuation of the premises without serious injuries.
The Toronto police also received a call about a "stink bomb" being set off during a Scarborough Town Centre theatre screening. Subsequently, the theatre was evacuated with no reported injuries.
While there's no apparent indication of a hate-motivated crime, the authorities have involved their Hate Crime Prevention Unit as a precautionary measure. Cineplex, in collaboration with local authorities, is actively engaged in the investigation, prioritising the safety and well-being of guests and staff.
Michelle Saba, a Cineplex spokesperson, expressed gratitude for the safe evacuation and emphasised the company's dedication to guest safety.