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Subway smoke bombs cause chaos for Montreal morning commute

Striking students blamed for detonating smoke bombs in 4 metro stations.

Subway smoke bombs in montreal metroEnlarge
Four smoke bombs detonated inside Montreal subway stations crippled the morning commute. Striking students have been blamed. (PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)

Striking students face severe scrutiny today after four smoke bombs detonated in the Montreal subway system crippled the morning commute, CTV News reported.

No person or group has claimed responsibility; however, it’s not the first such attack on Montreal’s metro system.

“Several” similar instances have occurred in Montreal in the last month, CTV said.

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Police received the first 9-1-1 calls just before 8 a.m., Postmedia reported.

The smoke forced those headed to work or school into the open air to wait for extra buses brought in to help.

The Montreal Transportation Society (STM) shut the entire system down for more than an hour to clear tunnels.

The four subway stations targeted headed in all different directions of the city.

Many angry travelers blamed post-secondary students, who have held a three-month long protest against rising tuition fees.

Students have used smoke bombs, and even thrown bricks on the tracks, to coincide with past street demonstrations and marches, the Montreal Gazette reported Wednesday. (Montreal subway trains run on rubber tires to reduce noise and ease vibrations.)

STM security was very visible during those protests, wearing riot gear as they guarded the transit system and its users.

“The metro may be open, but we can’t just let (passengers) go out(side) while a demonstration’s been declared illegal, while there’s an intervention in progress by the officers or the cavalry, while rocks are being thrown,” Insp. Alain Lariviere of the 130-member metro police division said, according to the Gazette.

More than 1 million people use the Montreal subway system each day. It's Canada's busiest metro system.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/canada/120510/subway-smoke-bombs-cause-chaos-montreal-morning-commute