Nipawin RCMP have confirmed that 14 people were killed after a semi trailer collided with a passenger bus carrying members of a hockey team. RCMP say that the Humboldt Broncos team bus was the vehicle involved in the crash. Inspector Ted Munroe with the Saskatchewan F Division RCMP took questions from the media at headquarters in Regina, in the wake of the crash, saying it occurred on Highway 35 approximately 30 kilometres north of Tisdale near the junction of Highway 335. The area will be blocked for hours as investigators conduct their work. There are 15 are injured and 3 people are in critical condition. A Fan bus filled with family and friends, also en route to the playoff game in Nipawin, was following the team bus when the accident occurred, and came upon the scene immediately following the crash.
RCMP say a location has been established in Nipawin for families to gather. It is at Nipawin Apostolic Church on 4th Avenue East. Information will be provided to families as it becomes available. Victims Services and Emergency Services Personnel will be on site.
The Humboldt Broncos issued the following statement late Friday night.
The Humboldt Broncos organization has experienced incredible tragedy. While en route to Nipawin, the Broncos bus was involved in a terrible accident which has resulted in multiple fatalities and serious injuries.
Broncos President, Kevin Garinger has made the following statement: “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. Our Broncos family is in shock as we try to come to grips with our incredible loss.”
Bill Chow is President of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League where the players come from across Western Canada.
“We have to allow the investigators to conduct their investigation and to provide me with some facts as to what occurred. At that point in time, I will be releasing a statement on behalf of the league.”
Chow says the league has reached out to Hockey Ministries. Their chaplains will be able to get in contact with whoever may need help in Humboldt or Nipawin.
People from across the province and around the world are expressing prayers and condolences on Twitter at #PrayForHumboldt.
This isn’t the first time such a tragedy has struck a young hockey team. December 30th, 1986, four WHL players were killed when the Swift Current Broncos team bus was involved in an accident on the TransCanada en route to a game against the Regina Pats.