14 killed as ice hockey team bus crashes with truck in Canada

REGINA, Saskatchewan – At least 14 people, including players of a junior hockey team, were killed after their bus and a truck collided in Canada on Saturday.

The bus was carrying Humboldt Broncos team members, aged between 16 and 21, who were on their way to play a playoff match with the Nipawin Hawks.

As many as 28 people, including the driver, were on the bus containing the Humboldt Broncos, around 5 p.m. on Highway 35 about 28 kilometres north of the town of Tisdale, a trading centre in an overwhelmingly agricultural region, in Canada’s western Saskatchewan province.

The Saskatoon StarPhoenix said 14 more were injured – including three critically – in Friday’s accident involving the Humboldt Broncos team bus.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shared a post on Twitter, offering condolences to victims’ families. “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 said.

Canada’s National Hockey Federation also released a statement of condolence on its official website.

“We are shocked and saddened over the tragic news of the accident involving the Humboldt Broncos Junior A hockey club. We are devastated to learn of the fatalities and the serious injuries,” the statement said.

The Saskatchewan league is a feeder system for higher levels of hockey with many graduating to play at U.S. and Canadian colleges and major junior league level, while some go on to the National Hockey League.

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The team comprises 24 players, all from Canada, with the youngest aged 16 and the oldest 21.

The condition of the truck’s driver is unknown.

Friday’s fatal smash brought back memories of a single vehicle bus crash in December 1986, also in Saskatchewan, that killed four members of the Western Hockey League Swift Current Broncos.