Anger and grief in Quebec after bus rams day care, killing two

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The driver who Canadian police believe deliberately crashed his bus into a day care, killing two children, was being evaluated by psychiatrists Thursday, officials said as mourners laid flowers and lit candles at the site.

Pierre Ny St-Amand, 51, faces nine counts including premeditated murder and attempted murder. He has been “transferred from hospital for psychiatric examination,” Quebec’s provincial public security minister Francois Bonnardel told reporters.

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In the city of Laval, a suburb of Montreal, incomprehension and anger dominated a day after St-Amand rammed his bus into the day care as some parents were dropping off their children.

Mourners -- among them Quebec officials, Laval residents and people who had traveled from other cities -- came to lay flowers or stuffed toys and to light candles in front of the day care as well as a nearby church.

“It’s a terrible tragedy, I’ve been speechless since yesterday,” said Yannick Lebeau, who came with his wife from their home 20 kilometers (12 miles) away to pay tribute.

His wife Annick Belisle, a teacher for 20 years, was in tears at his side. She called the deaths “senseless.”

The day care suffered serious damage, with part of its facade broken and covered with plywood. Debris was still scattered over the ground Thursday.

Some of the children were trapped under the bus before being freed.

One child died on the scene and another in an ambulance, authorities said, while a further six children were rushed to hospital but have since been deemed out of danger.

St-Amand appeared briefly at a hearing Wednesday, hours after the tragedy, where he refused to speak but nodded to answer the judge’s questions, smiling broadly and repeatedly trying to sit up from the bed to which he was handcuffed.

Witnesses who tried to subdue him at the scene said he was acting erratically, including removing all his clothes.

He is scheduled to appear in court again on February 17.

The day care center, which accommodates between 80 and 85 children, is located in a residential area of Laval, on the western outskirts of Montreal.

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Bus crashes into children’s day care in Canada, two kids dead, six hurt

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