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Canadian community heartbroken after junior hockey team’s bus crashes, killing 14

The Humboldt Broncos was headed to play in Game 5 of a play-off series against the Nipawin Hawks

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 April, 2018, 7:38pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 April, 2018, 10:06pm

Fourteen people were killed when a bus carrying a junior hockey team collided with a truck in Saskatchewan, Canadian media reported.

Fourteen other people on the bus, transporting the Humboldt Broncos, were injured in the crash late on Friday and taken to hospitals throughout the Tisdale area, about 300km north of Regina, The Canadian Press reported.

“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,” Kevin Garinger, the team’s president, said in a statement.

“Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss.”

Authorities said the crash occurred at about 5pm when a truck collided with the bus. The team was headed to play in Game 5 of a play-off series against the Nipawin Hawks.

The news sent shock waves through the hockey-mad nation, with condolences pouring in from former hockey players, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others.

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“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,” Trudeau wrote in a tweet.

Family and friends of the victims took to social media to express their grief.

“The Broncos bus crashed on the way to Nipawin tonight Ryan is in hospital. There were fatalities and we are heartbroken. We will be flying out tomorrow,” Michelle Straschnitzki said on Facebook regarding her son.

Established in 1970, The Humboldt Broncos are an ice hockey team from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, and play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.