Canada crash: 15 killed as junior hockey team bus collides with truck
A bus crash involving a junior hockey team in western Canada has killed 15 people and left others seriously injured.
The Humboldt Broncos, who play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, were travelling to a semi-final play-off game on Friday evening at 17:00 local time (23:00 GMT) when their bus collided with a transport truck.
There were 29 people travelling on the bus, aged between 16 and 21. Authorities earlier said three were in critical condition but later provided an update to say the death toll had risen from 14.
Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, tweeted his condolences to the families affected by the tragedy amid an outpouring of grief on social media.
“I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond,” he posted.
I cannot imagine what these parents are going through, and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond. https://t.co/2cIn2CTy08
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 7, 2018
The Humboldt Broncos released a statement saying the organisation had experienced an “incredible tragedy”.
Broncos President, Kevin Garinger, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the families of our staff and athletes as well as to all who have been impacted by this horrible tragedy.
“Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss.”
https://t.co/ZktI5WOLsj Here is a statement from our team president.
— Humboldt Broncos (@HumboldtBroncos) April 7, 2018
Mr Garinger said it was “one of the hardest days of my life”, adding that parents from across Western Canada had rushed to the scene to offer any assistance they could.
“It’s a horrible accident, my God,” said Darren Opp, president of the Nipawin Hawks hockey team, who are also based in the city. “It’s very, very bad.”
He suggested the transport truck crashed head-on into the side of the bus, adding: “There’s uncles and mums and dads waiting to hear whether their sons and nephews are OK.”
Kevin Henry, a coach who runs a hockey school in Saskatchewan, said the community was in shock, calling it “every parent’s worst nightmare”.
“This is I would think one of the darkest days in the history of Saskatchewan, especially because hockey is so ingrained in how we grow up here,” he said.
This is one of the hardest posts I have ever had to make. Parker is stable at the moment and being airlifted to Saskatoon hospital. Thank you all for your kind words and messages. Please continue to pray for his Humboldt family.
— Rhonda Clarke Tobin (@clarketobin) April 7, 2018
Twitter user Rhonda Clarke Tobin, whose son Parker survived the crash, asked people to “continue to pray” for the team.
“This is one of the hardest posts I have ever had to make,” she tweeted. “Parker is stable at the moment and being airlifted to Saskatoon hospital. Thank you all for your kind words and messages.”
A GoFundMe page set up for the families has raised more than C$2.9 million (£1.6m).
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