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 300 km 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 told The Canadian Press the crash occurred at about 5 p.m. when a truck collided with the bus. The team was headed to play in Game 5 of a playoff series against the Nipawin Hawks.
The news sent shockwaves through the hockey-mad nation, with condolences pouring in from former hockey players, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and others.
“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.
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
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.
Words can not describe the loss that we feel tonight.
From a grieving province, thank you to first responders & medical professionals for courageous response under the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
Tonight, we all must pray for these families.https://t.co/dEnhKMkDxJ
— Scott Moe (@PremierScottMoe) April 7, 2018
Thoughts are back in Sask tonight with the Humboldt Broncos and their families. Terrible tragedy.
— morgan rielly (@mriles4) April 7, 2018
My heart is heavy right now. Praying for all those affected by the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.
— Milan Lucic (@27MilanLucic) April 7, 2018
Established in 1970, The Humboldt Broncos are an ice hockey team from Humboldt, Saskatchewan, and play in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.
Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee and Denny Thomas in Toronto