Two security guards were injured Thursday during an explosion inside a bank in north Edmonton.
The security officers were delivering money to an ATM inside Scotiabank at 8140 160th Ave. around 2 a.m. MT when an “explosive device” was detonated, said Edmonton police Staff Sgt. Paul Czerwonka in an interview with CBC News.
There was a confrontation between a suspect and one of the guards, Czerwonka said.
The man was armed and he fled the scene with “money in hand,” he said.
The suspect remains at large.
The guards, a man and a woman employed by GardaWorld, were taken to hospital.
“The injuries were significant, physically, from what I can see from the photographs,” Czerwonka said.
“There was definitely significant injuries to the male guard, to his head and his scalp, potentially his skull. I don’t know how deep his wounds are, but they’re pretty significant.”
‘A pretty bad situation’
As of 6:30 a.m., a bomb unit and forensic investigators were en route to the scene, Czerwonka said. Drivers were being asked to avoid the area.
“We don’t even have a clue because the bomb guys haven’t done their search yet,” Czerwonka said.
“I don’t believe it was an accident. I think it was a device meant to make the guards, make them not able to respond so they could grab the money and run. I think it was intentional.
In an emailed statement, GardaWorld’s director of marketing and corporate affairs Isabelle Panelli said the company is working with investigators.
”Our employees are now safe and in good hands,” Panelli said in the statement. “We are providing support to our employees, their families and colleagues at the branch.
“GardaWorld’s corporate security team is collaborating with the local authorities [in] the investigation.”
There was a heavy police presence on scene Thursday morning. Police tape encircled the bank where a GardaWorld armoured truck could be seen parked adjacent to the front entrance.
Police responded to a similar case in September when an improvised explosive device detonated inside the vestibule of an RBC branch near 27th Avenue and 141st Street in southwest Edmonton.
Guards had just arrived at the bank “to perform their regular duties” when a loud bang startled them, but no money was taken, police said.