Canada mourns after bus crash kills 15


A bus carrying a junior hockey team in Canada has been T-boned by a truck, killing 14 people.A horrific bus crash in Canada involving the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team has sent shockwaves through the National Hockey League.

The crash on Friday afternoon killed at least 15 people, including the Broncos’ coach and team captain. The team comprises 16- to 20-year-olds and was headed to a playoff game in Saskatchewan when a semi-truck slammed into its bus.

Dramatic images from the scene appeared to show the bus torn in two by the force of the impact. Debris was scattered on the highway, and a large tractor-trailer lay overturned on the pavement.

The Humboldt Broncos are a close-knit team from the small city of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, which has a population of about 6000. Many gathered at the community centre at the hockey arena there after word of the horrific crash began to circulate.

“An entire country is in shock and mourning,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement on Saturday.

“Our national hockey family is a close one, with roots in almost every town – small and big – across Canada. Humboldt is no exception, and today the country and the entire hockey community stands with you.”

Players and coaches across the NHL spoke emotionally about the incident.

“The whole hockey community mourns today,” Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice said before his team hosted the Chicago Blackhawks in the regular-season finale for both teams.

“It’s such a horrific situation that hits so very close to home for all of us. We spent our lives at that age riding buses to hockey games.”

As a tribute, the Jets and Blackhawks announced that every player would wear “BRONCOS” on the back of their jerseys on Saturday night instead of their last names. The gesture “is meant to symbolise the unity and support of our hockey communities coming together as one for the Humboldt Broncos’ family,” the Jets organisation stated in a news release.

A moment of silence will proceed the opening faceoff.

Toronto Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock choked back tears as he discussed the crash. Babcock is from nearby Saskatoon.

“The hockey world is an unbelievable world,” Babcock said. “You can’t make up for loss. You just can’t. It’s going to rip the heart out of your chest. We pray for those families and think about them.

“I don’t know what else you say. Horrific, horrific accident. Tough day.”

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