The trucking company involved in the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus crash that killed 15 and injured 14 has been identified and its operating license has been suspended.
Adesh Deol Trucking Ltd was handed down an indefinite suspension by the Alberta Transportation ministry pending an investigation, provincial Transport Minister Brian Mason said, according to Global News.
It is standard procedure for a carrier involved in a serious or high-profile incident to face a suspension of this type, the news service reported, citing officials with knowledge about the case.
The cause of the accident, which killed 10 players, the bus driver, two coaches, a volunteer statistician, and a broadcaster, is still unknown.
The team was heading to Nipawin, Saskatchewan, for a semifinal game against the Nipawin Hawks, CBC reported.
At the time of the collision, which happened at around 5 p.m. local time, the bus with the hockey team was traveling northbound on Highway 35.
It would have had the right-of-way as it crossed Highway 335.
The semi-trailer was traveling west along Highway 335 would have approached a stop sign and a flashing red warning light before the crossing.
But for reasons still unclear, the two vehicles collided at around 5 p.m. local time on Friday, April 6.
Both vehicles were severely damaged.
The driver of the semi was not injured.
The CBC indicated that a possible factor was a patch of trees near the intersection that potentially obscured visibility.
The crossing is known locally as Armley Corner, and has once before been the scene of a terrible tragedy. The CBC reported that about 20 years ago, six members of an out-of-province family were killed in a crash at nearly the same spot.
It is reported calls have been made for increased safety measures.
“Something else has got to be done,” said Art Lalonde, town council president for the Rural Municipality of Connaught, according to the CBC.
Representatives of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the agency conducting the investigation, did not provide comment, citing needs of the ongoing inquiry.
Alberta Ministry of Transport press secretary John Archer said Alberta provincial authorities would assist the government of Saskatchewan, a neighboring Canadian province, in its investigation. He added that Alberta would also carry out its own investigation into the crash.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that he couldn’t imagine what the parents were going through, “and my heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy, in the Humboldt community and beyond.”
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) 7 kwietnia 2018
On Saturday morning, U.S. President Donal Trump tweeted that he had spoken to Trudeau to offer his condolences “to the families of the terrible Humboldt Team tragedy. May God be with them all!”
Just spoke to @JustinTrudeau to pay my highest respect and condolences to the families of the terrible Humboldt Team tragedy. May God be with them all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 7 kwietnia 2018
Premier of the Province of Saskatchewan Scott Moe posted a statement on Facebook, saying, “Words cannot describe the loss that we feel tonight.”
“To the City of Humboldt, the entire Broncos organization, and the families impacted by this tragedy, please know you are in Saskatchewan’s hearts.
“From a grieving province, thank you to every one of the first responders and medical professionals for your courageous response under the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
“Tonight, we all must pray for these families.”
On April 7, one day after the incident, Saskatoon StarPhoenix reporters gave this update on the tragedy.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League is part of the Canadian Junior Hockey League.
It is open to North American-born players between the ages of 16 and 20.