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14 dead after truck hits hockey team bus in Canada

Fourteen people have died after a truck collided with a bus carrying a junior hockey team in western Canada. Another 15 were injured following the crash, three of them critically, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said. The bus was carrying the Humboldt Broncos, who play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, to the town of Nipawin for a play-off game.

Police said there were 29 people on board, including the driver, when the crash happened at about 5pm local time (midnight in the UK) on Friday on Highway 35, north of the town of Tisdale. Special police investigators were sent to the scene.

Image: The bus was hit from the side by a transporter truck

Police did not release any names, but Michelle Straschnitzki, from Airdrie, said her 18-year old son Ryan had been taken to hospital. “We talked to him,” she said, “but he said he couldn’t feel his lower extremities so I don’t know what’s going on.

“I am freaking out. I am so sad for all of the teammates and I am losing my mind.” On Twitter, @DebbieJayneC said her brother, Broncos head coach Darcey Haugan, “didn’t make it”.

Tributes poured in for the father of two, who was reportedly a well-loved mentor to many of the young players. “There have been multiple fatalities – our whole community is in shock,” said the Broncos’ president, Kevin Garinger. “We don’t know who has passed and we don’t expect to know right away,” he added. “We know that the coroner and their office need to do their work and let families know.”

President of the Nipawin Hawks, Darren Opp, said a transporter truck hit the side of the bus, describing the collision as a “horrible accident” and “very, very bad”.

We ask all members of the SaskHockey community to join us in saying a prayer for the the Humboldt Broncos team and their families.

— Saskatchewan Hockey (@sask_hockey) April 7, 2018[1]

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “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.” More than a hundred people gathered at the Apostolic Church in Nipawin. “Some of them are waiting to hear if their kids are alive,” said pastor Jordan Gadsby. Humboldt mayor Rob Munch said the tragedy had been overwhelming for the town of about 6,000 people.

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“A lot grew up in the community and everybody knows each other,” he said.

Kevin Henry, a coach who runs a hockey school in Prince Albert, said it was “one of the darkest days in the history of Saskatchewan”.

References

  1. ^ April 7, 2018 (twitter.com)



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