10 dead after van mows down pedestrians in Toronto

Ten people are dead and 15 injured after a van mowed down pedestrians in Toronto, local authorities say.

Police in the Canadian city say they responded at around 1:27pm on Monday (local time) after receiving an urgent call-out.

Witnesses say the driver was moving fast and appeared to be acting deliberately. One told CTV that he saw the van hit a man walking across an intersection.

"And then, just pandemonium broke loose, just everyone was going crazy," he said.

Another witness said the driver appeared to deliberately target victims.

"He started going down on the sidewalk and crumbling down people one by one," Alex Shaker told CTV News. "He just destroyed so many people's lives."

The driver fled the scene, leaving bodies strewn across the footpath.

"I must have seen about five or six people being resuscitated by bystanders and by ambulance drivers. This guy drove a long way," bystander Phil Zullo told Canadian Press.

"It was awful... brutal. There's just shoes and shirts and ball caps on the floor. Some of the bodies were completely covered by blankets which obviously means they didn't make it."

Video shot by the public shows the moment police apprehended the driver and took him into custody. The footage appears to show the suspect pointing a dark object, believed to be a mobile phone, at the officers. Sources told CTV News that the suspect in custody is Alek Minassian.

Toronto Police Services Deputy Chief Peter Yuen says police are interviewing witnesses and examining surveillance video.

"I can assure the public all our available resources have been brought in to investigate this tragic situation," he told media.

Sunnybrook Hospital issued a statement on Twitter saying its trauma centre had received 10 patients.

Two were pronounced dead upon arrival.